Inner Change and Long-Term Recovery: Creating the Future You Deserve
Recognizing strength in the smallest of things. It’s the little changes that you make that show you are well-rooted on the path to sustainable, long-term recovery.
Change is hard, there’s no way around it. You’ve experienced this first hand, either through the support you have provided and/or your personal recovery journey. Change requires sustained effort. Recent research has shown that it can take anywhere from “two to eight months to build and adopt new behaviours into your life.”(1) To integrate changes that will hold over time, we need to be realistic in the knowledge that it doesn’t happen overnight, but rather through a series of small adjustments. It is a journey to find your way to a new destination.
Along the way, there will be challenges that test your perseverance as well as, both your physical and mental strengths. It can be helpful to view these obstacles as opportunities for learning and growth. You’ll find and refine your strengths, and become more resilient through the process. Getting to a good place takes dedicated time, clear focus and full commitment. Yes, the work is hard, but this is a way of taking care of yourself, and showing yourself that you’re worth it.
Understanding recovery isn’t a quick fix. You may have difficultly staying motivated over time. Enlisting support from family and friends is essential. Additionally, you can call upon the resources, tools and knowledge you acquired during your time at Homewood Health. There are other ways to boost your motivation that can be a lot of fun.
Create a vision for yourself
Start small. Think about who and what inspires you. What do you need in order to get to where you want to be? Write things down. You might want to try daily journaling using point form notes, creative doodling, finding images to cut and paste in, and arranging information along timelines that allow for reflecting on the past, recognition of the present, and goal setting for the future. It’s a creative way to give yourself the gift of time to capture your thoughts and contemplate where you’re heading.
There’s a tendency many share: the thought that we must wait to mark huge milestones. Re-consider, and start to recognize all of the smaller celebrations and achievements encountered along your journey. As an example, celebrate the discipline you are developing by making your bed each morning or going for a mid-day walk. Sometimes we don’t take enough time to see the little changes that keep moving us in new and positive directions.
Share your goals with someone you trust
Having someone’s support can make all the difference in the world when you’re feeling deflated. There may be days where you fall short of a goal, or find that laughs are hard to come by. Some days you’ll be stuck, or even find yourself retracing steps in a place you thought you thought you left behind. It’s okay. Calling on your trusted person can help get you through those days.
One strategy is to write yourself a letter about how you’re feeling, with the person you trust. You might even dictate it to your person. Talk about some of the goals you have that will lift you out of your current place. Talk about what you’re doing to get there. This exercise allows you to share your goals and to reflect upon your accomplishments. Then put your letter in an envelope, seal it, and ask the person you trust to mail it to you in six months. You’ll be able to reflect on where you were at then and appreciate where you are in the future.