Addiction is a disease that cannot be beaten by resolution alone. Every addict has resolved not to drink or use substances again, only to find the resolution impossible to keep. There is no reason New Year’s Resolutions should be any different. However, for those already on a recovery journey, New Year’s resolutions can give you goals to pursue in 2022.
The best New Year’s resolutions for recovering addicts build on what you have already achieved. Recovery should not be something that you complete and leave in the past. On the contrary, personal growth is a journey that continues throughout your life.
If you’re sceptical about New Year’s resolutions, that’s understandable. Most people abandon their resolutions a week into the year at most. However, by choosing sustainable goals, you can work towards personal growth in the New Year.
Consider the following sustainable New Year’s resolutions for recovering addicts.
Become a Sponsor / Mentor
Regardless of whether you recovered with the help of the 12 Step Program, the idea of a sponsor is certainly worthwhile. When you are beginning your recovery, you find a sponsor to help you through the tough times, giving you guidance from their own experience. When you’ve been sober for some time, you can become a sponsor to a newly recovering addict.
If you feel stable in your recovery, resolve to become a sponsor or mentor in 2022. You can give back simply by sharing what you’ve learnt over the past years. The process will help you find more assurance in your sobriety and create meaningful interactions. You will also come to cherish the relationship.
Start Recording Your Experience
Some people will recoil at the idea of writing or otherwise recording their experience with addiction. That is understandable, as there is a lot of trauma in that part of their life. Others, however, feel that they will benefit from recording their narrative. It can help work through some of the trauma while finding meaning in it.
If you are of the latter persuasion but never get around to starting out, resolve to do so in 2022. The issue for many people is starting, because they think they don’t know how to write well or tell stories. By recognizing that you are doing this entirely for yourself, you may find it easier to get going. Maybe someone will want to hear your story when it is complete, but that needs to be a secondary consideration.
Because most substances bring you pleasure, many addicts begin to associate pleasure with bad behavior. Once they have stopped using, they therefore deny themselves pleasure out of unresolved guilt.
The reality is that substance abuse is not about pleasure. Even if it was, that does not make other types of pleasures unhealthy. In fact, pleasure is a very important aspect of a healthy, happy life.
This coming year, resolve to find more opportunities to treat yourself. Explore things you might enjoy and come back to those that feel right. Changing your thoughts only gets you so far. By treating yourself to pleasurable experiences, you gradually train yourself to understand that seeking pleasure does not equate to self-destructiveness.
These New Year’s resolutions can help recovering addicts continue their journey in 2022. The best resolutions are sustainable, so make sure to set realistic goals.