Each stage of alcoholism has its own journey and carries its own difficulties with it. Once youíve reached recovery the fight is not over and it is hopefully the longest aspect of your alcoholism journey. Reaching sobriety is an amazing feat and should not be understated, but many that reach recovery have issues staying positive and maintaining a lifestyle that is cohesive with sobriety. Itís common to feel negative, unsure about the ability to stay sober, and alone with your feelings. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with feelings of negativity in order to stay positive and happy with your alcohol recovery.
Count your Success
Mark anniversaries, remember milestones, and share your story and keep your mind focusing on your successes. Alcoholics Anonymous celebrates these moments with chips for a reason. Itís important to count your successes and acknowledge the hard work and pain youíve gone through to make yourself better. Use your successes to help others, start a blog, speak at your meetings, and share your story with youths struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. Reaching recovery is a huge feat and itís important to celebrate your sobriety instead of being shamed for your alcoholism. Focus on the positive changes made instead of the mistakes made and you will be able to look at your recovery in a positive light.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Reaching sobriety is as much about changing your peer group as it is about changing your lifestyle. Utilize the supportive people in your life and communicate your concerns with them if you are having issues with positivity in your recovery. Find friends in meetings, remove yourself from negative or toxic people, and stay away from those that are still drinking if you are having any question of your sobriety. But surrounding yourself with family members and other supportive people will help to make you feel positive as well.
Start a Journal
Starting a journal and recording your thoughts throughout your sobriety can be extremely helpful. Record your positive thoughts along with your negative ones. Remind yourself to be hopeful and how happy youíve been in your recovery. Talk about what makes you said and examine what has made a positive outlook difficult for you. Make a trigger journal and record the aspects of life that make it difficult to keep a good hold on your sobriety. Sometimes itís nice to read your journal and read advice from your own mind and not from others that you feel might not exactly understand.
Find what makes you happy and immerse yourself in it. Is it reading, painting, helping others, travelling, or spending time with your children? Find a way to make the thing that makes you happy be involved in your life in some way every day. Your mind and body used to be absorbed in its alcoholism, find something else that your body and mind can become absorbed in. Something that makes you happy, something that fills your mind, and something that is fulfilling enough to make your mind focus on it instead of alcohol.
Exercise is an important aspect of life for many people, but for those that are having issues with positivity in recovery, it can be a great way to combat those feelings. Exercise is used as a tool in drug abuse recovery as well, and the same principals apply for those in alcohol recovery. It releases endorphins, increases mood, and reduces signs of anxiety and depression as a result. When your mood is decreasing and you are having issues with seeing positivity in your recovery, it may be useful to experiment with exercise. Go to the gym, ride your bike, go on a walk, or find another physical activity that works for you. It doesnít have to be extensive, but taking a calming walk a few times a week can do wonders for your mood.
Recovery can be difficult to maintain for many alcoholics that have reached sobriety in recovery. The journey tends to be a rocky one, which is why reaching sobriety and overcoming alcoholism is such a great accomplishment. Changes in substance use, leaving peer groups, feeling shame, and learning how to adjust to lifeís new normal as a sober, former-alcoholic is not an easy task. Instead of dealing with feelings of negativity on your own, remember to count your successes, surround yourself with supportive people, start a journal, get absorbed with something else, and take up some exercise.