Staying motivated to keep working on recovery is not always easy. Many people are motivated at first because they have had enough of addiction and they feel like they’re ready to do anything to recover. Later, as those bad memories fade and recovery gets challenging, their motivation may wane. Here are some ways to keep working on recovery when you don’t really feel like it.
Have a good sober support network.
Having a good sober support network, and especially going to regular meetings motivates in you in three ways: you see what’s possible when you stay sober, you remember what happens when you don’t, and you have peer pressure to keep you on track. It also means you don’t have to shoulder the burden yourself. When you’re feeling down or overwhelmed, having people to help you out can make all the difference.
Review your accomplishments.
At a certain point, recovery may begin to feel like more of the same. That’s actually a good thing in a way. You don’t want to go from one emergency to the next. However, you don’t want to feel bored either. When things have been going smoothly for a while, you have probably been making gradual progress that you haven’t noticed. Take some time periodically to appreciate how far you’ve come. What have you done recently that wouldn’t have been possible six months or a year ago? Don’t forget to count every day sober as an accomplishment in itself.
Have systems in place.
No one is motivated all the time. You don’t want your recovery to be threatened every time your enthusiasm dips. Therefore, you want to establish good habits and routines to carry you through lapses in motivation. That means keeping a regular schedule, creating good habits that include healthy eating and exercise, and spending time with people who support your recovery. If you create good habits when you do feel motivated, often inertia will carry you through the times when you don’t feel motivated.
Play the tape.
If all else fails, remember why you got sober in the first place. When things are going well, the good times in active addiction start to seem better and the bad times not as bad. If you find yourself thinking about those good times, play the tape through to the end and vividly experience what will happen tomorrow if you start using again today.
Castle Craig Hospital is a landmark of addiction and mental health treatment in Scotland, serving the UK, the EU, and patients from all over the world. Our commitment to long term abstinence has created a successful programme of clinical and complementary therapies for mind, body, and spirit. Serving over 10,000 patients for more than 25 years, the Castle Craig model is proven in changing lives. Call our 24 hour free confidential phone-line for information: 0808 231 7723. From outside the UK please call: +44 1721 788 006
Page last reviewed and medically fact-checked | January 27, 2020