How to Regain Motivation in Recovery

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How to Regain Motivation in Recovery

No matter how long you have been in your recovery and how passionate you are about your sobriety, there may come a time when you feel as if you do not have the motivation you once had to continue. This is common and does not mean that your treatment has failed. It is simply a normal part of the recovery journey. 

It occurs more frequently after the first-year mark of getting sober but can happen at any time, even years into recovery. The key is recognizing the signs that you are losing motivation and taking action before you reach the point of relapse. 

Recognizing the Signs of Losing Motivation

It is easy to lose motivation in committing to recovery without even realizing that it is happening. While the signs may look different from person to person, some common warnings to look out for include: 

  • Skipping support group meetings or counselor visits because you feel as if you do not need to go
  • Frequently thinking about times of substance use and glorifying these times
  • Talking frequently about past substance use or discussing substance use with others
  • No longer feeling hopeful or dedicated to the treatment plan developed for you by an addiction treatment professional
  • Feeling as if you are in control of your substance use and that if you were to use again, you would be able to do so in moderation without it becoming an issue
  • Considering or following through with obtaining a substance with the intent to use it
  • Becoming defensive or aggressive when others ask you about how your treatment plan is going
  • Feeling as if long-term sobriety is not an option for you
  • Acting rashly or making poor decisions
  • Not sticking to the daily routine that you created when you got sober
  • Wondering if things were really “that bad” when actively using drugs or alcohol

Understanding Why Drops in Motivation Happen 

There are many reasons why the loss of motivation in recovery can happen. Some common reasons include: 

#1. The excitement of starting your recovery journey has worn off. When first going through treatment for a substance use disorder, you may have felt very encouraged and motivated. The things you learned during treatment were likely fresh on your mind, along with the inspiring stories you have heard from people in recovery during support group meetings. 

Perhaps you were able to easily pinpoint things in your life that have changed for the better since you decided to get sober. As time goes on, it is easy to forget this excitement and begin to doubt your reasons for getting sober in the first place.

#2. You are experiencing an extensive amount of stress. When personal or professional stress becomes too much, it is easy to be tempted to look for the easiest way to cope with these negative feelings. Using alcohol or drugs can be a quick coping mechanism that is viewed as a way of finding relief fast. 

#3. You may have experienced a traumatic event. In the event that you have experienced a traumatic event, such as the loss of a loved one, a natural disaster, or violence to yourself or another person, you may be looking for a way of alleviating this pain and may turn to substance use for comfort. 

Regaining Motivation in Recovery 

If you feel that you are losing motivation in recovery, the first thing you should do is speak with your doctor or addiction specialist. They may need to adjust your treatment plan to work more effectively. 

For example, they may be able to connect you with a support group that is a better fit for your needs. Some other things that you can do on your own to boost motivation in recovery include: 

  • Keeping a gratitude journal and writing down three things that you are grateful for each day
  • Keeping either a public or private recovery blog to track your progress, log your feelings, and view the positive changes that have occurred in your life since you started your recovery journey
  • Incorporating self-care into your everyday life, including simple things like exercising and eating healthy, fitting in things that bring you joy like reading a book, creating art, or spending quality time with a friend or family member
  • Volunteering, as service work is a vital part of the recovery journey, bringing you a sense of purpose and fulfillment, and can even help you to connect with like-minded individuals in similar circumstances
  • Immersing yourself in the beauty of the outdoors, as there are countless benefits associated with being surrounded by nature

Despite how dedicated you are to your recovery journey or the amount of time that you have been sober, it is still possible that you can find your motivation to abstain from substance use running out. This is a normal part of the recovery journey and does not mean that treatment has failed. It is important to recognize the signs of this loss of motivation before relapse occurs. Some of the most common signs include skipping support group meetings or reminiscing about past substance use. If you’re feeling this way, you should speak to your doctor or therapist, as your treatment plan may need to be adjusted to better suit your needs. At The Kimberly Center, we have helped countless patients take back their lives from addiction. If you are currently struggling with a substance use disorder, our team is here to help. Call (855) 452-3683 today to learn more. 

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