Once substance abusers begin to peek out from under the fog caused by alcohol and drug consumption, they often want to speed up the process of healthy living. They want to mend relationships, recover employment, join a gym, travel – everything they have missed because of their substance abuse. Those things will come, but successful recovery means putting first things first. In other words, recovery is the No. 1 priority, and the rest will fall into place. The same concept applies to an addict’s family and loved ones. Putting first things first for the family helps calm the sense of feeling overwhelmed that accompanies dealing with the behavior of a substance abuser.
Setting priorities begins with figuring out how you spend your time. Prior to recovery, alcoholics, and addicts spend the majority of their time either thinking about drinking and using, actually participating in drinking and using, devising stories to cover up their drinking and using, or recovering from drinking and using. Once the recovery process begins, it is important to spend the majority of your time in learning and practicing new ways of thinking and new behavior. Begin by writing on paper those people and situations that are most important in your life and a list of things you would like to accomplish. The next step is seeking help and support to find ways of following through and of putting first things first.
Family and friends
Not only do addicts need to make recovery the top priority, but family and friends need to also support them by realizing it may mean they do not get all the love and attention they want at first. The goal of all recovery programs is developing new habits in order to prevent relapse. Family and friends need to educate themselves about the recovery process and symptoms of relapse in order to be supportive without being controlling. Families also need to leave the past in the past and focus on what is in front of them today.
Staying in today
Early recovery sets an onslaught of feelings into motion that can be overwhelming at times if you’re not used to it. It is a natural tendency to feel haunted by the past and guilty about behavior. It also is natural to look ahead to bright tomorrows. It is important to cast aside those tendencies and take care of what is set in front of you today. Using the tools of recovery daily means putting first things first. If you’re ready to make recovery your number one priority, contact our treatment specialists for a confidential assessment.