For many, 2016 has been riddled with addiction, grief, heartache and devastation. For those who spent the majority of the year living in active addiction, regardless of their drug of choice, 2016 was likely full of consequences. Even for those in recovery didn’t get away completely unscathed. For me personally, I’m still trying to repair my damaged and get a foothold on my finances even one year into long-term recovery. As a result, most individuals are ready for a chance and thankful that 2016 has now come to an end. For many, 2017 represents a year of hope, new beginnings and reinvention. Thus, below, we’ve provided 6 important tips and strategies for a successful recovery and life in 2017.
What is Recovery?
The answer is simple isn’t it? Just stay away from drugs and you’re in recovery, right? Well, that’s part of it but true recovery is so much more. Try and think back to a time before drugs ever entered your body. What was your life like? Did you enjoy it? Maybe at a time you did, but at one point or another, there was something about your life that made you unhappy, anxious or depressed. Whether it was because you wanted to fit in, drown your sorrows, feel less anxious or just feel better, you made a decision to try heroin (or some kind of drug). This ultimately led to addiction and dependence and a life that spiraled downward out of control. So yes, the first step in a successful recovery is letting heroin go. But you can’t just go back to life immediately before you started using drugs. Otherwise, the same depression, unhappiness or anxiety will likely lead you right back to drug use and active addiction. Thus, recovery is about reinventing yourself, becoming new and living the life you’ve always dreamed about.
Ok, so this idealistic vision of “living life to the fullest” may not be 100% practical and feasible all the time. After all, you can’t control every single component or circumstance in your life. However, regardless of circumstance and innuendo, you will always have direct control over your actions. It may not always feel that way. But regardless of feelings or thoughts, you are in the driver’s seat of your own volition and choices. With that, please see the below important tips and strategies for making a better life for yourself in 2017.
6 Tips for Making a Better Recovery and Life in 2017
1. Make New Year’s Resolutions and Stick to Them
I know it’s cliché, but a lot of people make New Year’s resolutions in an attempt to better themselves and their lives. Despite good intentions however, a large percentage of men and women give up after the first 3 months and go back to old habits and patterns. Those most diligent however, do succeed. But you have to really want it. So don’t make a list of New Year’s wishes, make realistic resolutions that you really want and plan to persevere. Resolutions can be something as simple as daily routine maintenance and grooming to getting a job, taking that trip you were holding off on, getting back in the dating game (advised only if you are 1 year plus in recovery), repairing damaged relationships (which could include your marriage or relationships with certain family or friends), regular workouts, etc.
2. Cultivate Healthy Relationships With Like-Minded People
We focus a lot on reminding recovering addicts to avoid people, places and things that induce thoughts of drug use. But cultivating healthy relationships with like-minded individuals, people strong in their recovery or “normies” (people who don’t suffer from addiction and don’t do drugs) is key to building a better and meaningful life. Human beings are designed for community and are not meant to be alone. Surrounding yourself with people who inspire and motivate you is key to becoming a better person and living a meaningful, happy life.
3. Develop Goals For Yourself
Developing realistic goals for yourself is important. Many people go through life and live a meaningless existence. These individuals often feel like they don’t have purpose, flounder in their daily activities and often feel sad and depressed. Others may be satisfied and comfortable with their life. A lot of people think they want an easy life, but those who have it are often bored and floundering. But no matter what your life is like now, I believe that we should always challenge ourselves to be and do better. Nobody is perfect and as a result, developing growth goals and putting them into action can help make life more meaningful, challenging and pleasant. But be careful. Keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds. In other words, aim high but be realistic as to what you can accomplish.
4. Get an Attitude Adjustment
I read a quote the other day and shared it on the Modern Image, LLC Facebook page. It reads, “The Only Difference Between a Good and a Bad Day is Your Attitude”. Think about that for a minute. It’s absolutely true. Don’t get me wrong, there are some days where it fees like just about everything that can go wrong, does. But even then, there are still many good things to hold onto. If you can change your perspective and attitude, even on days where things aren’t going the way you plan, you can still go through the day smiling, reduce stress and reduce the chance of an addiction relapse. In other words, stay positive and focus on the things that are going right instead of what’s going wrong. Have goals, but be flexible, knowing that things often and usually don’t go exactly the way you plan. Being prepared for this can reduce your chances of getting upset and even improve your problem solving skills.
5. Be Logical and Don’t Be Controlled by Emotion
Children and those who have yet to mature often make impulsive, emotional decisions and later regret them. Taking your time and thinking things over however, can help you make much better, more logical decisions that will ultimately improve your long-term happiness and overall well-being. Decisions made strictly on impulse may seem good at the time, but once consequences of the decision set in, disappointment, guilt and regret often sink in. And sometimes, we can’t go back.
6. Learn to be a Leader Rather than a Follower
A lot more people would rather follow someone they believe in over leading. But the most successful people in this world take initiative and at the very least, are the leaders of their own lives and family. Being a leader doesn’t mean that you need a large following of people. But it means developing principles, sticking by them despite peer pressure and going your own way. Of course, there is a difference between a leader and a loner. If you’re on the right path, people will want to follow you. If you’re rebelling against the pack for no rhyme or reason, you will likely become a loner. For those who still would rather follow, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure you follow the right people and you’ll always be a part of something good.
Written and Published by William Seemiller (William Charles) – Founder and Publisher for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.