When we’re in active addiction, it can be difficult to have intention. I never felt like I could take responsibility for my choices. In the moment, it can be comforting to feel like things just happen and you’re not responsible for your decisions—but I’ve found making informed choices in recovery so empowering.
Trusting Yourself in Recovery
However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t scary—especially when you’re newly sober—to feel like you’re suddenly the one in control of your life. It can also take time to trust yourself and your own decisions when they previously led you down a destructive and painful path. But seven years into recovery, one of the things that has helped my self-confidence the most is learning to have faith in my choices.
Learning What You Need and Want
If you aren’t clear on what you want, that’s okay. Some things that have helped me sort this out are therapy, reading widely, journaling, talking with friends and family, and trying new hobbies. Anything that encourages self-awareness and feeling connected to the world around me has helped me clarify what space I want to occupy in that world.
Knowing your values and goals is a big part of making informed choices. SMART Recovery—an addiction support group—has a values worksheet I’ve found helpful. It lists many potential values, asking you to narrow it down to several that feel most important. Once you pick those, you brainstorm goals that can help you work towards those values.
If you are faced with a difficult choice, that’s a time to lean on your support network. Being sober means you are able to confront challenges like this, but it doesn’t mean you have to face them alone. Talking to people in your life can make you feel like you’re not carrying the burden alone, and those who know you well might have useful advice.
Making intentional decisions can still be hard, but I’ve found it to be among the most rewarding parts of recovery. The choices we make impact our lives in profound ways; when we’re sober, we can be present and get to know ourselves so that we can make the best decisions for us.
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is help and hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff—many of whom are in recovery themselves—will help you build the skills to cope with whatever life brings, sober. To learn more, call an admissions specialist at 833.641.0572.