How do you stay Motivated through the Recovery process?

Can we brainstorm on how best someone can stay motivated in recovery, seeing that every side one turns to, chances of giving up seem higher than average. The community surrounding the person receiving treatment, the stigma, the expenses involved, the fear, and shame this entire process may impact on the recovery process can make it seem like an impossible journey that won’t ever end. To the contrary, we’ve seen so many getting better through the treatment process; question is, How do they do it, how do they make it through the harsh fogy process?

I’d love to share a few tips, feel free to add more!


Addiction is a deadly disease that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. One minute you think you have your life under control and the next minute you realize you are lying to everyone, including yourself. You have difficulty managing your work life or even holding down a job and your relationships are suffering. The decision to begin an addiction recovery program is a tough one. You have to muster all of your strength and courage, admit you have a problem and ask for help. You have to summon enough faith in yourself to step through the doors of a treatment center, walk away from your most habitual patterns, and possibly even detach from the lifestyle that has sustained you for a long time. So, after all these efforts, how do you make sure you are staying motivated to stay sober?

Dr. Devon Berkheisa believes that “No matter how motivated you are to make changes in your life, you are likely to experience periods of time when you feel like giving up. ”

Remember it’s Temporary
First of all, remember that the way you’re feeling now is only temporary. While you may not be able to make this feeling of frustration or hopelessness go away, you can learn to tolerate it. Try distracting yourself with an enjoyable or comforting activity, or use affirmations such as “I can get through this” or “This too shall pass.” Keep in mind that no matter how deflated you may feel in the moment, it won’t last forever.

Recall Your Motivation for Changing
Try to remember why you wanted to make the change in the first place. Recalling the negative consequences of the addictive substance or problematic behavior can provide a boost in motivation when you’re feeling stuck or frustrated. One way to do this is to refer back to your cost-benefit analysis, which clearly outlines all of the problems that the behavior/substance was causing.

Get Support
Reaching out to your support system can also help you through low periods. Not only can your support network provide helpful suggestions and encouraging words, but they can also help to keep you accountable. You’re more likely to go to a SMART meeting, for example, if you know that a friend is expecting to meet you there. So don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

Stick With It!
During periods of low motivation, it’s more important than ever to follow through on your recovery maintenance plan. Stick with your planned activities/schedule, even if you don’t feel like it. Just because you don’t want to do something does not mean that you can’t do it! Often, you’ll find that if you just take the first step, it becomes fairly easy to keep going.

Be Gentle With Yourself
Finally, practice self-compassion. In other words, simply be kind to yourself. Remember that everybody has tough times, and give yourself a break. A decrease in motivation is a normal part of the recovery process and does not mean that you aren’t making progress. Acknowledge and celebrate the positive steps that you have taken, and remember that there are more to come.

I’d love to see others’ tips! Thanks.

~Megan G.

Regular User Asked on October 17, 2018 in Addiction case.
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4 Answer(s)

Hi Megan G! Welcome to this forum, and thank you for sharing these nice tips!! I find them empowering and on-point. Keep sharing!

Moderator Answered on October 17, 2018.
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Nice tips Megan! Just for clarification, what is a SMART meeting? Do you mean that literally?

Regular User Answered on October 17, 2018.
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Moderator, thank you – I’m honored! OkidaChalse, thanks – and SMART is an acronym which stands for “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.”

Regular User Answered on October 17, 2018.
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How to stay motivated, one word: Hope. Only hope can keep one from not going crazy, because chances are still high that things will get back to normal.

Regular User Answered on October 24, 2018.
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