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Stop Comparing: Making Your Addiction Recovery Your Own

It is human nature to compare ourselves to others. We always want to see how we measure up. Sometimes this provides motivation to keep pushing forward and striving for more, and other times it is detrimental when we feel we fall short or can’t meet expectations.

Addiction recovery is one area where comparison doesn’t really work. Your situation is unique to you. No one else has the same background, genetics, or circumstances. These are just a few of the contributing factors. While you may share some similarities, each person deals with addiction in their own way and must find what works for them in recovery. Spending too much time focusing on how you measure up to others can keep you from making the most of your own journey.

Find a program that works for you. You know yourself better than anyone and you know what it is you believe in and are willing to try. You know your schedule and what accommodations must be made in order to take time out to attend a Los Angeles rehab facility. Do your research and determine what location and program meets your needs so that you can focus on your recovery.

Not every program works the same way. Some are rooted in 12-step methodologies, some take an alternative approach, and still others offer both and may allow you to create more of a hybrid program. Be open to exploring options but be honest about what is and is not working for you. If you are having a difficult time connecting and following through with a certain approach, let your therapist or counselor know. They can work with you to find other options.

Just because a 12-step program worked for your friend or someone you know, doesn’t mean that it will work for you. If you don’t work the steps, you have a greater risk for relapse. You may find that SMART Recovery or another program fits better with your beliefs and motivation. Find what works for you. You are the one in treatment and who will need to continue implementing these changes in the future.

Set your own goals. Everyone progresses at their own speed. It may take you longer or shorter to complete an executive rehab program than someone else. Don’t worry about that. You’re all at different points in your life and your recovery. When it comes to setting goals, focus on things that are meaningful in your life, not what you think you should do to please others. Come up with a variety of short-, medium-, and long-term goals that you want to work toward. Things that you can feel proud of accomplishing. They may not mean much to someone else, but to you, reaching them is a success.

Take time to reflect about where you are you in your life and where you want to head. Look at what you have overcome and what you are capable of. Setting goals to make someone else happy will not give you the same motivation and encouragement to achieve them. It is harder to build a connection to things that are not personal to you. You know your strengths and limitations, so start with small steps and work your way up. Creating goals that are too lofty to start can you leave you feeling defeated if you fall short.

Know yourself and your triggers. What contributed to your development of a substance use disorder may not be the same as what contributed to someone else’s. They may be able to return to their job without a problem, whereas you may need to find a new one where you have less stress or temptation. There may be certain people or places you need to avoid in order to support your recovery and feel more confident in your progress. Only you can make these decisions.

You know when you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, when cravings are beginning, or when temptation strikes. Create a relapse prevention plan that is tailored to your individual needs. What strategies work best as distractions or redirections? Who can you turn to if you need to talk? What friends are a positive influence or are willing to try new things with you?

The Dangers of Comparing

Realistically, there is no way to create a level playing field. Your situation will never be exactly the same as someone else’s, so you will never be making an equal comparison. You are both starting out from different places and though you are headed in the same direction, your journeys will differ. Be content to focus on your own life, your own wellbeing, and your own recovery. Don’t worry about whether you are reaching milestones before or after someone else. Go at your own pace. Trying to measure up can give you an inflated sense of confidence and security, or on the opposite hand, could leave you feeling hopeless and defeated. Neither is very beneficial to your recovery.

At Chapters Capistrano you can create a treatment plan that meets your individual needs and engage in a wide range of therapies and activities to support recovery. Contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198 to start a new chapter in your life and overcome addiction.