After you have worked through a variety of hardships in recovery, you likely have gained a lot of insight into the process itself. Think back to when you first started recovery. Do you remember your high levels of frustration, lack of motivation, or desire to give up and forget the whole thing? 

These feelings are common in the recovery process, especially through the early stages. Regardless of what you experienced before and where you are now, you made it through. That is an accomplishment in itself. While recovery is a life-long process and you are nowhere near the “end,” it is important to validate yourself in your abilities to get to where you are today.

Use Your Experience

Now is the time to utilize the feedback you have gained and put your experiences to use. This concept can be challenging to grasp for some, as you may wish to avoid looking back upon these hardships. While looking back on these moments may bring high levels of frustration, you can utilize the skills you have gained to regulate your emotions through this reflection.

Your experience can be shared with others who are going through the recovery process. Sharing your experience can give others insight into their recovery journeys moving forward. You can discuss the hardships you encountered and mentor them through their interactions moving forward. Think of someone that helped you through these difficult times. It is your chance to be that person to someone else.

Spread Your Knowledge

Think about some of the key lessons that you have taken away from treatment. What are those lessons, and how do they affect your sobriety maintenance today?

While the knowledge that feels to be of great importance to you may differ from what is most important to others, you can use your perspective to motivate change in others. You may find another individual in recovery who responds to their substance use disorder similarly and could greatly benefit from this knowledge as well. For example, the following insights can be a great starting point in influencing others in recovery.

#1 Patience Is Key

As you have probably come to find, patience is the key to success in recovery. Through the hardships of treatment and the recovery process, it can feel that the stress is never-ending. Think back to a time when you felt stuck. It often feels that you will never progress past this standpoint and be able to succeed in your recovery goals. Feeling this way is highly common, as recovery is typically not a quick process.

Communicate the importance of remaining patient to your peers in an earlier stage of recovery. If they are feeling stuck, let them know that you felt that way once too. Provide suggestions on how to move forward. Think about the techniques you utilized to move past this state and get back on track.

#2 Patience Is Not Passive

Being patient can be a frustrating word of advice, as it suggests you simply wait around for change to happen. This is not how patience actually works, though. Rather than waiting around for change, implement practices to make that change occur. With these practices in place, people can then use patience to sustain these habits and eventually see progress.

Compare this to a situation of an individual trying to lose weight and become physically healthy. If they have a long way to go, their success will take a great deal of time and patience to achieve. Sitting back and waiting for change will not be effective. There must be changes to diet, exercise, and other health factors to allow them to accomplish these goals. Recovery is similar. Practice and patience are required to reach a state of success. You can share how you used active patience to produce change over time in your journey.

#3 Your Support System Is Important

Discuss how your support system helped you get through the rough patches in your recovery journey. Help your peers determine individuals they feel comfortable with confronting the hardships of addiction. Emphasize the importance of these relationships and how the support of others can help to keep them motivated.

If you find that your peer is lacking a key support system, lead them in the direction of finding individuals who will support them and their recovery journey, including yourself.

#4 Coping Skills Are Essential

Having the ability to cope with high levels of stress and regulate your emotions through recovery is highly important. There are many skills that you will gain throughout treatment that can help you in doing this. During moments of frustration, it can be easy to forget these tactics and feel unprepared.

Remind others of the abilities and skills they have learned that can be implemented in these instances. Sometimes, a simple reminder is all that is needed to keep someone on track to success.

Don’t Lose Sight of Yourself

When helping to influence others in recovery, it is important to ensure that you do not lose sight of your recovery in the process. You can also encourage the same for them. Always put yourself as the priority in your recovery. Losing sight of yourself is a fast track to stepping back into the cycle of addiction again. Take the necessary precautions to ensure you are staying on track. Empower others in recovery to do the same.

As you have endeavored through the hardships of the recovery journey, you have gained various skills that helped you make it to where you are today. As alumni, you can do many things to help others by utilizing your personal experiences. Use your knowledge to help others through their hardships, encourage them to utilize their support systems, and remind them of the importance of being patient. Help them be successful in recovery, just as you did. This is the opportunity for you to turn around and be an influential member to someone else in the recovery community. To learn more about using your experience to help others, reach out to Dream Recovery at (949) 732-1960.

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