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  • What are your plans, once you've recovered from addiction?

    A place for community rundowns, special events and announcements from Counselling Online forums facilitation team.
    Community Builder
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    Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:21 pm

    What are your plans, once you've recovered from addiction?

    Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:07 pm

    Hi everyone,
    The scariest place to be on the road to recovery can often be the thought of 'What's next?' - the road of the future that leads out onto the horizon for as far as we can see....! We have managed to get through withdrawal and have survived. We have let our families know, our friends, our colleagues that we are on the road to recovery and they have greeted us with warm hugs and smiles (well, most of them) and we feel encouraged and less disappointed with ourselves. When we look in the mirror we can tell ourselves, 'you've done it, mate!' and you feel the warmth of self-acceptance and also self-recognition and perhaps even a bit of surprise.

    Perhaps, you have tried 3, 4 or 10 times before but this time, it feels right.
    But going back to the empty road of the future - the scary ' what is out there for me' can be daunting indeed. This is the NEXT step and it can be a little strange. You feel like you should doubt yourself, you're not really trusting that you can make it : What happens if you fail, disappoint yourself, find yourself in the bottle shop or down at the pokies in a few months?

    They are all very valid feelings and fears and hopefully you will also be mindful of the fact that we ALL have very similar fears and anxieties. It would be highly unusual NOT to have those thoughts and feelings of apprehension.
    It just means that you are human and the fear for the future is very much part of the human condition! What you need to do now is to stop and think - 'It will be okay - no one knows what the future holds, absolutely no body.' The key is to turn that apprehension into something less consuming and healthier.
    Like any anxiety, the worry can be turned into calmness and acceptance. It is also about taking steps to alleviate the anxiety - whether it is breathing, grounding exercises or any sort of exercise, like a walk around the block or feeding the ducks at the local park.

    Anxiety also can be relieved by solid plans for the future - arrange a trip, a dinner, join a book group, a weekend away, go and see some live music - anything that you can look forward to. Through hope comes survival and eventually happiness and contentment.

    Here is a useful breathing exercise, when you feel that the anxiety is getting a little too overwhelming..
    Stop and focus just on your breathing : we call it box breathing so you imagine that you breathe in (up one side of the box, then breathe out, across the top of the box, then breathe in down the side of the box, and breathe out, across the bottom of the box)
    - in (2,34,5 secs), out (2,3 4, 5 secs) and feel the air inflating your lungs and then out, clearing and cleansing.

    Your body will respond and in turn your mind will calm down, if you do this for a minute or so. You can then also focus on the senses around you - smell the air, feel the carpet or grass or floorboards underneath your feet, touch something soft and furry (a cat?), look out of window if there is a pleasant view....
    And tell yourself that you are on the road to recovery and life is looking less ordinary and much brighter x

    What works for you, now that you are in that special place of moving forward with recovery? What motivates you and keeps you going ?
    What helps to get through the weekend or what do you find occupies you the most and creates harmony and a sense of satisfaction and hope?
    Last edited by Bamboo [facilitator] on Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Reason: darker colour font
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