Addiction recovery is a long journey that lasts for life. Maintaining motivation over such a long period can be challenging, but staying intrinsically motivated is essential for continued recovery. Loss of motivation can put you at risk of relapse. Becoming unmotivated is like an inner engine to do the things that have been keeping you sober, turning off, which leaves you stagnant and vulnerable.
Why Is Motivation Essential for Recovery?
Keeping yourself going even when you feel exhausted or frustrated is no easy task. Luckily, motivation is a skill that you can learn and improve at. Most people understand motivation as a constant inner drive. It’s either working, or it’s not. When it comes to addiction recovery, motivation is a must.
To keep your internal motivation machine chugging, you must first identify and align your core values. Finding these values can be easier if you ask some directed questions about the recovery process. For example, do you have a clear vision of why you are in recovery? Can you picture a sober life for yourself?
Your core values may include good health, sobriety, and the importance of family. For example, you can keep pictures of your family around, so whenever you feel frustrated or lose motivation, these images can be the jump start you need. If your core values include health or kindness, remember how you feel and act when you’re not clean and sober. You might also read inspirational quotes about self-care and health to feed inner motivation.
What Other Conditions Should I Create for Maintaining Motivation?
Building a supportive sober network around yourself is a great way to keep up motivation. This may include supportive friends, family members, therapists, and 12-Step group peers. Various triggers in your life may exhaust you and drain the pool of inner motivation. However, if you talk about them with your therapists, friends, and other 12-Step members, they can release their power over you.
A sense of accountability also keeps you motivated. It can help to have other people constantly check on you and cheer for you. Recovery is like running a marathon. You need supporters along the way to cheer you up. Sometimes self-doubt can also deflate your inner motivation. Learning to bring these feelings of doubt to trusted friends or therapists allows them to encourage you and keep the fire going.
How Do I Stay Motivated in the Difficult Phases of Early Recovery?
During early recovery, you can get caught in the cycle of triggers and cravings. There may be moments when you do not want to continue putting in the work. A good way to motivate yourself is to remember why you started in the first place and all the progress you’ve made.
Fix your eyes on the prize—all the benefits of sobriety and health. You can end financial struggles, repair relationships with family members, get back to work, or simply regain self-confidence about yourself. Set realistic goals in which you can see your progress daily to keep you on track.
How Can Therapists Help Me Maintain Motivation in Recovery?
Experienced therapists can help you design a recovery plan with specific goals. A roadmap for taking things one day at a time can be incredibly motivating. Don’t worry about the uncertainty ahead of you. All you need to do is focus on a day’s work to maintain sobriety.
When you achieve early sobriety, life can become new and exciting again. But, unfortunately, things will not be smooth after this phase. You may find putting in the work repetitive and unappealing. The motivation that fueled you, in the beginning may fade. This may even happen to people who have been sober for years.
When you run out of steam and even begin to reminisce about the old days of substance use, you may be at risk of relapse, even after long-term sobriety. Therapists can help you work through these thoughts and feelings, so they do not derail you. Fading motivation is common among recovering individuals, which is why therapists are equipped with many tried-and-true ways to help you get motivated again.
How Can I Keep My Motivation for the Long Haul?
There are effective strategies to maintain motivation in long-term recovery. First of all, you must rebuild a sense of self-awareness. Journaling may be a tool to help you see growth in your behavioral and thought patterns. When you keep a recovery journal for a while, you can read back and gain new inspiration because you’ll see how far you have traveled.
Motivation can come from getting involved in community service. Serving others and giving back to the community can connect you to a larger purpose in life. You will be reminded that you now have the privilege to serve others in need because of all the work you have put in. This helps you adjust your perspective and not take your sobriety for granted.
Sustaining motivation requires you to identify people who inspire or motivate you. Invest quality time with these people and minimize contact with those who harm your mental health or motivation. Remember that motivation is a skill that can be improved. Once you can watch out for early signs, such as complacency and unrealistic expectations, you will become better at staying motivated.
How long have you been in recovery? Have there been moments when you feel like you’re losing steam? Recovery is hard work. Loss of motivation happens from time to time to everyone, but not all treatment facilities talk about this topic enough. Lack of motivation can make you feel stuck in recovery, leading to dissatisfaction that can lead to relapse. At Laguna Shores Recovery, you can find health professionals who know how to motivate you. We offer a range of aftercare programs to keep you motivated. You can be part of our strong recovery community. Call us today at 866-934-5276.