The determination to enter recovery is the main requisite. Everything else follows from this. Without it, nothing will work.
Envisaging self-formulated goals is a powerful technique and turns one’s focus & attention to the type of life that one would like to live. The key to successfully reaching goals is to make them modest, simple and achievable.
Visualise a Positive Future
For most addicts, active addiction is only one chapter in one’s life story. The next chapter is inevitably happier and more fulfilling.
Something, a trigger, always prompts substance use. A trigger can be internal… usually a thought, feeling, memory… or external; such as seeing someone else using, an alcohol advert, etc. Becoming conscious of those triggers is the first step to neutralising them.
For most addicts, satisfying the addiction is usually the central defining feature of the current lifestyle. By modifying the lifestyle in modest, simple and achievable ways, many of the habitual triggers to substance use can be avoided.
Neuroscience shows that upon entering recovery, new connections (synaptic growth) are made within the brain that are stronger and more powerful than normal. This provides an immense opportunity for not just stopping substance use, but also embarking on a brand-new chapter in one’s life. This may involve the setting of new life goals, a complete lifestyle change or the addressing of long-standing emotional and personal conflicts. Successful recovery is a process of:-
- Reconnecting the parts of the brain responsible for motivation to achieving goals and steering our behaviour towards those goals
- Empowering oneself to a self-chosen envisaged future
- Reconnecting oneself to the social world