What Are You Going to Make Happen Today
Sustained sobriety provides unlimited opportunity for those who want it (you can define opportunity however you like). However, the acquisition of this opportunity does not happen by accident; it happens by choice. You have to intentionally take action to get to where you want to be.
Years of active addiction often leave us with thoughts like “I need to get my life back on track” or “I have wasted so much time, I need to hurry up.” This attitude often creates fear or a hopeless panic that keeps us from doing what needs to get done. Rather than dismissing these thoughts for what they are, self-generated lies, we often allow them to keep us in a stationary state of inaction. This toxic state causes more anxiety, and what started as a set of negative thoughts, expands into a personal crisis that seems impossible to overcome.
The sad fact is, these adverse circumstances that we have mentally created or the tasks that we are conveniently avoiding, if addressed, will ultimately open the pathways to more opportunity and sustained recovery. So, why do we allow our addiction, even when we are not using, to continue to restrict our forward progress?
It’s because we often find ourselves trying to avoid doing what we anticipate to be difficult. We are stopped by those mental conversations that drive us back to our comfort zone. Avoidance provides a sense of relief from what we don’t want to experience or when we fear a certain outcome. And, the more relief we feel, the more often we avoid and procrastinate.
Procrastination is defined as the action of postponing something. What this sounds like in our brain is, “I will fix the problem later." More specifically, it's a harmful habit of delaying a relevant activity until another day or time. It typically involves negative emotions that cause anxiety and panic. The process almost always includes a diversionary activity. Meaning, something you choose to focus your intentions on instead of the task at hand. Diversionary activities are often easier yet provide a sense of relief or rationalized justification for our deliberate inaction.
When clean and sober, the only thing holding us back from where we want to go is us. Those who procrastinate are always fighting laziness, rationalization, impatience, and self-doubt. It is an evil trait and one that needs to be addressed before opportunity can become a constant in your life.
To overcome procrastination, employ the 5-minute rule. For those tasks you don’t want to do, make an agreement with yourself or an appointment to do at least five minutes of the unwanted task. The 5-minute rule is a cognitive-behavioral technique for procrastination in which you set a goal of doing whatever it is you would otherwise avoid but only commit to doing it for five minutes. The theory is, by getting into action, you break the hold addiction has on you. You destroy the power of negative thought and realize that facing reality is not as difficult as you previously imagined. You learn that with action, your life is actually on track, and there is plenty of time to access all the opportunities this world provides.
Keys to beating procrastination are:
· A do it now attitude.
· The desire to always try one more time.
· A focus on action rather than solely on outcomes. And,
· An approach that is absent of blame, judgment, and justification.
Always remember that life is long and, at times, can seem to be moving slowly. Be patient and focused on what needs to get done today. Make recovery the priority, have an awareness of what you are making up, and never let your addiction drive decisions. Keep challenging yourself, and never stop learning. Before long, you will realize that things don't happen by accident – they happen because you chose to make them happen!
So again, what are you going to make happen today?
ABOUT CHOICE RECOVERY
Choice Recovery is an integrated outpatient behavioral health facility treating alcohol and drug addiction. Enrolling in an addiction treatment center can be one of the hardest decisions an individual makes in their lifetime. However, the rewards of such a decision and the commitment to sustainable recovery can be beyond imagine. Choice Recovery is dedicated to supporting individuals who make the choice for sustainable recovery. Our intensive outpatient (IOP) program is designed to give addicts a new purpose in life, one that creates a life that they love. Choice Recovery takes AHCCCS insurance and well as most private insurance. We offer night IOP as well as a host of other substance use disorder treatments. Located in Mesa, Arizona, Choice Recovery's whole-body approach to addiction treatment is available to anyone looking to refocus their life.