In my experience, there is a lot of forward momentum in recovery. I’m constantly looking to grow and learn—making up for lost time from my years in active addiction. Growth in recovery is wonderful and intrinsically motivating. However, we can’t keep going and going without pause.
The Importance of Pausing
It’s important to stop sometimes and acknowledge how far we’ve come. Interestingly, this can help in making more progress. Constantly pushing forward can burn you out or make you feel stuck. As Brett, who I interviewed for the Sober Stories series, said, “Growth mindset isn’t a bad thing, but if it transforms into perfectionism—or this belief that you should never stop and appreciate the good going on around you—that’s a pitfall. If I had had meltdowns and didn’t stop to think about what was different from the last time, I would have never stopped spiraling.”
Not taking a moment to pause can also mean you miss an opportunity to reevaluate your goals. We’re all always changing; recovery allows more room for these changes, and more opportunity for intentional reflection.
Moments for Reflection
Some people find journaling helpful for reflecting on growth and figuring out next steps. Some use therapy. Others meditate to become more aware of their thoughts. Many do some combination of these, or many other, outlets for contemplation. What works for you will become clear as you try different things in sobriety.
In my experience, recovery has been a lot about learning balance. When I first got sober, I was all about growth, barely allowing myself to rest even though I was exhausted the first couple of months.
Noticing changes was exciting and got me through the first milestones. But as I got further along in recovery, I practiced balancing growth with intentional pause. The most important thing has been taking to heart that I won’t stagnate just because I take a break. This has taken time.
While progress is a great thing, so is rest. That, in turn, will give you energy to make more progress.
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 find balance in recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 833.641.0572.