As an individual moves along in his or her treatment journey, important decisions in this structured recovery will need to be made in regards to relationships, living situations, and old habits. The type of environment you choose to be a part of after treatment can make all the difference in continued sobriety. Commitment on the part of the individual and vulnerability with others is a key part of recovery, as is a new way of thinking when it comes to your schedule and daily routine.
There are myths surrounding addiction, one being that if one possesses enough willpower, that individual can simply stop abusing drugs or alcohol. The truth, according to experts, is that most people dealing with addictions cannot simply quit, no matter the amount of willpower. Most need at least one course of “structured recovery” in order to move forward in their recovery journey.
One benefit of a treatment program is the structured environment it provides. Less time is devoted to thinking about addictive behaviors, and more time is spent on healthy activities.
What does structured recovery look like? Gay Cartier, a trained recovery coach, says that one of the most important things to remember during recovery is the benefit of a structured recovery plan. This includes:
- Setting goals: They may seem small, but they add up in big ways. Maybe your goal today is to make good choices in order to see tomorrow. The actual goal is not as important as achieving the goal. What do you want to do in 5 or 10 years? Where in life would you like to be?
- Taking care of basic needs, such as a healthy diet, sleep, and exercise: Your self-care is of utmost importance during this time. Healthy relationships and boundaries fall into this category, as well.
- Planning out a schedule: Write down time for counseling, 12 Step Programs, time for healthy relationships, and exercise
- Doing the work: Very few things in life come easy. You are going to need a network of support as part of a structured recovery plan. This means asking for help when you need it, and admitting that you do not have all the answers. Relapse can and may occur; it does not mean you quit. Rather, it means tomorrow is a new day and you can start again.
- Understanding your strengths and weaknesses: Make a list of what you believe you are good at, and a list of where you think you can make improvements. Ask healthy people in your life to make a similar list.
It is important to remember that no matter the hurdles, no matter the obstacles (and they will come), you are worth the time and effort it takes to be healthy in your mind and in your body. Closely scheduling your time is one way to avoid boredom and find new ways to create a new routine. It may take some time to learn how to prioritize your days during this structured recovery, but you are capable to accomplish this task.