Recovery is a lifelong journey requiring patience, persistence, and self-awareness. At times your recovery might feel completely manageable, especially when your confidence is high. During these times, you are likely feeling strong, and you might even feel as though you have mastered the process of sustaining recovery.
While confidence is a sign of growth and strength, it is essential to be aware of the risks of complacency. Overconfidence can hurt your relationships with yourself and others, becoming a risk factor for relapse. However, there are signs for which you can look out for that will help you better understand how your self-confidence might be holding back your growth. Let’s look closer at recognizing these signs, their dangers, and how you can work to avoid such dangers.
Ignoring What Others Have to Say
Have you ever experienced the thought that “there is nothing you can say that I don’t already know?” During times of feeling strong, it can be tempting to feel like you know all the answers and no longer need to listen to peers, family, or health professionals. However, when you adopt this philosophy, it will hinder growth in all aspects of your life and recovery, from socializing, career, and managing a family.
If you have been dismissing what others have to say, remember that peers in recovery carry the wisdom of experience with substance use. Such an attitude to disregard that knowledge can be an indication that relapse is likely. Therefore, even when you feel confident, it is crucial to stay vigilant about listening to others, not only in recovery but in the relationships where you know others are putting your recovery first. Such relationships include friends, family, therapists, or counselors. Becoming a better listener helps you see something from a different perspective and ask additional questions about yourself and others.
Your Situation is “Unique” or “Not Like Theirs”
Being honest with yourself and your situation is a crucial ingredient to lasting recovery. Viewing and assessing your thoughts and behaviors using mindfulness or other meditative practices aids you in this. However, sometimes when you feel overconfident, you might begin to see your addiction differently from other people’s. Remember, addiction is addiction regardless of who is working to overcome it. If you believe that your situation is better than another person’s, it becomes easier to become complacent and make riskier choices.
Since recovery is lifelong, it relies on the strength within its community to keep it strong. You are a part of this community, which means you are no better or worse than another managing recovery. Additionally, your place in this community matters because you can look to others for guidance in times of need and help another in times of need, and this is both comforting and empowering. The stronger your recovery community, the stronger you are, and this takes understanding that you are all in it together.
You Think You Deserve Preferential Treatment
Substance use disorders can impact all walks of life. However, if you feel as though you deserve preferential treatment because of who you are or what you do, then this is a slippery slope that can lead to the unraveling of your recovery. Entitlement not only hurts and isolates you from the relationships you have with others but also yourself. Becoming offended because you think that others or the world owes you something can soon leave you feeling very lonely, frustrated, angry, or depressed. It might even take you through stages of questioning whether you have a substance use disorder at all to thinking that you deserve nothing.
It is essential to understand your place in your recovery and remember why you sought treatment. Connecting with peers, friends, family, and therapists that support you can help you talk through your emotions. Seeking ways to connect with yourself and others not only enables you to balance and manage your feelings, but it reminds you that you are not alone, nor are you more deserved than another in recovery.
Expecting Immediate Results
Seeking treatment, meeting new people, working on a new sober self-identity is an exhilarating and liberating experience. So much happens in a short amount of time that you might feel this high energy, and good feelings will last indefinitely. However, this is what is often called the “pink cloud” of recovery. During this process, you feel that you can handle anything. Usually, when you are not reasonable about your goals and expectations, you can not only become burned out but feel as though things are not happening as fast as they should.
Remember, recovery is not about what “should” or “should not” happen. Recovery is about being patient and moving at your pace; it is an ongoing process. Thinking of your substance use as something that can be “cured” rather than needing constant management is a danger to your recovery. It is important to continue attending meetings and therapy and working at a pace that helps you set reasonable goals.
Setting Ego Aside
Increased confidence in your recovery is a positive transformation in the process. However, it is also important to keep confidence in check to avoid it getting in the way of your recovery. While you continue the process of recovery, not only do you need to remain active, but it is also vital to retain humility so your confidence and ego do not undermine your sobriety. Taking time to write down the things and the people you are grateful for in your life is a great way to keep you grounded and in touch with how far you have come, what you have overcome, and the people that help you every day accomplish some of your biggest challenges. Taking time to remember what got you this far with also help you to keep moving forward.
Recovery is a continuous process, an evolution, not a destination. If you have become complacent, overconfident, and are beginning to feel the weight of your addiction creeping back up, then the time to seek help is today. At Choice House, we offer assistance to stop drug and alcohol use, retain sobriety, and stay on track with your recovery. We accomplish this using conventional and alternative treatments and therapies because we believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment does not work. We provide a safe and comfortable space nestled at the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains to ensure that the men who seek treatment with us always feel inspired and secure. Our resources provided will become necessary tools to help you on your recovery journey, but the adventure only begins when you decide to take that first step. Find out more and call us at Choice House today at (720) 577-4422.