Through years of experience, we have seen that when someone is in recovery from addiction, self-discipline can be a persistent stumbling block. The reasons will vary from person to person, but the struggle with temptation can be overwhelming, even after going through an extensive recovery program. Luckily, self-discipline is a virtue that God has gifted all of us, and Adult & Teen Challenge USA was founded to help bring it out in everyone we help.
Don’t Focus On Blame
Addiction takes a heavy toll on your body, mind, and spirit, but also on your relationship with yourself, your family, and your friends. When you’re in recovery from addiction, it’s important to have a healthy view of the causes and consequences of your problem. Be understanding of family or friends who may still hold anger or resentment from some of the things you may have done. Just as they need to find forgiveness in themselves for you, you should find it in yourself for them. It’s also important to remember to understand it, without taking it to heart. Overbearing negativity can send you back to your old habits, so you’ll need to make peace with others’ feelings.
It’s also important not to dwell on things you did that you now regret. Being able to look back on what you shouldn’t have done and learn from it is an important part of recovery from addiction, but dwelling on guilt and forever beating yourself up won’t help anyone – including you.
Make Plans for the Future
A contributing factor that we see time and again with those suffering from addiction is that they often lose sight of their potential. This is especially true of teenage addicts who have become isolated and disaffected, and fallen into their habits as a way to fill a void usually reserved for hope for their own future.
If you’re in recovery from drug addiction, think about how different your life will be now that the burden of that addiction is lifted. Look ahead and make plans for what you’re capable of, and what you can do to get things in motion.
It’s also a good idea to make backup plans for when you feel temptation begin to creep in. The desire to fall back into your old ways is always potentially there, so think about what you’ll do should it ever happen. Do you have someone you can call or talk to in those times? Or a different activity like exercise or an artistic outlet you can use instead? Using moments of temptation to pray for strength is a powerful way to resist your previous vices.
Reconnect with Friends and Family, or Meet New People
Substance abuse, alcoholism, and other forms of addiction are often alienating habits. The loneliness that comes with addiction is part of what creates the self-perpetuating cycle that’s hard to break. In recovery from addiction, seek out your family and friends who may have become estranged because of what you were involved in. This is a time to reconnect and to show them that you really have changed. Be careful, however, about friends who may have led you astray in the first place. While they may have their own reasons for the life they lead, maintaining your relationships with them – even if it’s with the intent of offering them help – is a quick way to fall back into it yourself.