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Self-Sabotage: 5 Easy Ways To Ruin Your Recovery

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self-sabotageIt is often said that recovery “works if you work it”. But what about the people who can’t seem to figure out why they, or their loved one, can’t stay sober after addiction treatment?

There are five major reasons why and how someone can self-sabotage their treatment and recovery . Whether you are new to rehab, been in and out a few times, or are a loved one of someone struggling with addiction, you need to read this. It could be the difference between life and death.

Self-Sabotage

Reason #1: Focusing On Leaving Rehab

One way to really self-sabotage your treatment is to focus too much on your discharge date. You did not get sick overnight, so it would be unrealistic to believe you can recover overnight. Many times addicts and alcoholics will find excuses as to why they need to leave treatment, and in some cases, they will convince their loved ones they need to get out, too.

Treatment from addiction is inconvenient, but so is any treatment from any other life threatening disease. No one likes to be sick. The reality is, if you don’t address your addiction and treat it fully, a relapse will most likely happen and your addiction will be even more inconvenient than your visit to rehab.  You may believe in whatever reason you have for leaving, but the truth is that addiction controls your entire life and nothing you need to do outside of rehab will match the urge to use/drink once you decide to leave on your flimsy terms.

The solution: Focus on today and stop worrying about when you will leave. Recovery takes time, and now is the time to be patient with yourself and others.

Reason #2: Thinking Too Much    

Thinking you have all the answers, that no one knows what they are talking about, and finding faults in the program will quickly take you back to drugs and alcohol. There is more to recovery than knowledge and if you are not working on your recovery and other mental health issues, it doesn’t matter how much you know – you will continue to stay sick.

The solution(s): Listen. Slow down and process situations before you react. Allow the treatment professionals to do their job and help you start recovering. When you stop trying to control everything, you will find the treatment experience is much more fulfilling when you have an open mind and willingness to grow.

Reason #3: Focusing On Others

What an excellent way to self-sabotage. When you focus on the “wrongs” of staff, other patients, your family, etc. – it’s all just another way to distract yourself from getting well. The more focus you take off of you, the sicker you will get. If you are not looking at your behaviors and working through any issues, you will not get better.

The solution: The only way to break free is to stop looking at them and start looking & working on you.

Reason #4: Overthinking Your Problems

Concentrating on all the bad things in your life and all the problems you have will keep you stuck. Everyone has problems coming into treatment and it’s completely normal, but drinking and using will not help you solve those problems. And, by the way, just because you have a few days sober in rehab doesn’t mean you are healthy enough to now tackle every issue.

The solution: Stop overthinking your issues with your partner, job, family, etc. Start talking about your fears and issues with your therapist and group. You will be amazed at how it all works out in the end if you stop trying to control it all and allow the treatment program to help.

Reason #5: Not Taking Accountability

One of the biggest reasons people don’t stay clean and sober is their lack of willingness to change. Three key ingredients to a successful long-term recovery plan include: willingness, open-mindedness, and honesty.

The solution: Unless you allow yourself to admit you have a problem and become fully willing to do something about it, you will have little chance at staying clean and sober long after treatment.

Hope, Healing, & Recovery

If you follow these strong suggestions, you can recover from the disease of addiction, and if you are a loved one reading this, please help them recover by supporting their treatment process. If you or your loved one needs extra support with what to do, please talk with one of our addiction counselors now at 800-861-1768. Recovery is possible, but it takes work to accomplish, so make sure you are putting every ounce of effort you have into it. If you want to stay clean and sober then you must go after your recovery like you chased your addiction.




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