Embracing a new life in recovery can be an exciting time for you. There is a great feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing treatment. Yet, there are challenges to navigate as well, along with disappointments or setbacks.
Recovery isn’t a destination but rather an ongoing journey. With a healthy mindset and tools for maintaining your sobriety, you are hopefully making better decisions than you previously did. However, as situations arise, your decision-making abilities may be challenged. Here are two ways to make the types of good decisions that will shape the new you in recovery.
Talk Things Over with Others in Recovery
You don’t have to solely rely on family, friends, or a sponsor to help you through difficult decisions, nor do you have to go it alone. Many people in recovery will say that because of shame and isolation, it is hard to turn around and make new friends with complete strangers after treatment. However, one of the greatest gifts of AA/NA and other self-help groups is the opportunity to make connections with others in recovery.
Through these meetings, you can find like-minded and non-judgmental individuals who share their own experiences and who can provide additional support to you, helping you to make critical life decisions when in need. The opportunity to see that no one has to be alone in recovery will also prove to be an added benefit to you.
Go Over your Pros and Cons List
After you have had the opportunity to speak with trusted individuals in your support system, you now should have collected some valuable input. Go over your notes and add them to the list of pros and cons for the decisions you need to make, even if they are major ones. For example, if one of your decisions is whether or not you should move for a new job, you would write the pros and cons that would come along with such a decision. In one column labeled “Pro,” you might put down the salary increase (if there is one), the fact that it is an ideal position, and the job being in a more desirable location. In the “Con” column, you may put that you would have to travel more for this position, you will be away from your recovery support system which might lead to a misstep, or you will now have to work weekends and some holidays.
This process of advisement and reviewing your lists takes time, and no major decision should ever be made in haste, especially an impactful one. If time is of the essence, then go with the decision that has the most positives.
No one said that you will have all the answers after treatment or that you will always know what decisions to make for important matters. Remember to not beat yourself up for feeling uncertain about things and know that your recovery support system is here for you.