Becoming More Resilient in Your Recovery Journey

Becoming More Resilient in Your Recovery Journey

“Do not judge me by my success; judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” — Nelson Mandela


In recovery, we teach about being mindful and living in the moment. You know that it’s important to let go of the past and focus on the present. But there’s also something to be said about preparedness — you must be ready to bounce back when the tough times come.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we know all about being prepared. We have to be ready when “the big one” hits, right? So we stock up on nonperishable foods and emergency supplies. At the very least, this gives us peace of mind that in a major disaster, we can be self-sufficient for a few days.

It’s not much different in recovery.

Any number of triggers, including everyday stress, could wind the clock back and throw you into relapse. You can never guarantee that you won’t hit a bump in the road, but you can build resiliency. It’s what will help you adapt or get through whatever your “big one” may be.

Here are some ways to build resiliency when you’re recovering from substance abuse:

Be flexible and accept change: Your goals may not always be met, regardless of how hard you worked or how well you planned. Minimize stress by adapting to the new situation.

When something unexpected happens, accept change and be ready to revise your plans, goals or expectations. Think of it like a sailor — when the wind shifts, you don’t give up on your destination but adjust your sails and course-correct.

Build your network: You need a fresh start in creating relationships with people who are going to be a positive influence. Spend time and energy on nurturing these new relationships.

Work every day at making amends with family members, as they are your strongest supporters, but don’t stop there. Look for ways to expand your network:

  • In your group therapy sessions, get to know others who share the same recovery goals as you.
  • Attend Olalla birthday meetings, where you can meet some of the alumni and hear their stories.
  • Check to see if your community has a recovery café, where you can participate in various activities with like-minded people in a safe environment.

Take care of your body, mind and soul: Do you remember what it’s like the first few days after the flu? Your body — your entire being — is drained of energy. Before you can return to normal activities, you have to regain strength and restore your energy.

It’s the same way with substance addiction. This disease drains you completely. To build resiliency, you need to take time to replenish your ability to fight the next “bug.” You’ll be much stronger if you take a holistic approach and understand the body-mind-spirit connection.

Stay optimistic: We’ve all been there. In our darkest hours, losing hope feels like the easy way out. Know that keeping hope alive will pay off. Your optimism can — and will — get you through the hard times.

That’s where your new network can especially help. Like the saying goes, optimism is contagious. When you surround yourself with people who have pledged to weather it all with you, it’s much easier to believe in yourself.

Email us or give us a call at 1-800-882-6201 if you don’t know where to start.