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10 Signs That Your Recovery Is Moving In the Right Direction


right-directionAll being well, you already know about some of the warning signs that you are heading towards relapse. This would include symptoms like romancing the drink/drug, isolating, taking sobriety for granted and stinking thinking. Just doing enough to stay sober will not be sufficient to guarantee the type of life you deserve in sobriety.

If you really want to make the most out of whatever time you have left on the planet, you need to be always pushing forward in the right direction. The problem is that progress can occur so slowly that you may not even be aware that it is happening. There will always be some evidence that you are making progress and what follows are ten signs that you can look out for.

1. You Are Spending More Time Thinking About Others

Increased self-absorption can be a sign that you are struggling in recovery. There is a direct link between feeling at ease in the world and thinking more about others. If things are going well, you do not need to be worrying about the future or regretting the past, instead you are able to direct your focus outwards. It might not sound obvious, but the more you are able to think about others, the happier you are likely to become. This is because you will not be able to do this naturally until you already developed a certain degree of self-acceptance.

2. You Are Being Kinder to Yourself

Individuals who fall into addiction tend to be full of self-hatred, and this only gets worse due to the substance abuse. It is common for people to take a lot of this self-hatred with them into recovery. This can lead to being overly critical, negative, and bullying. A positive sign that you are making progress in sobriety would be that you are being kinder to yourself. This does not mean you are blind to your faults – it just means that you give yourself the same level of compassion as you might offer a loved one.

3. You Are Better Able to Live in the Moment

If you are constantly worried about the future and upset about the past, you will miss all the good things that are in your life right now. The ability to live more in the present moment is one of the greatest gifts of recovery. It is something that most humans struggle with. The fact that you are able to remain mindful like this shows that you are developing emotional sobriety; it is a definite sign that you are moving in the right direction.

4. You Generally Have a Positive Outlook on Life

All humans become negative from time to time and this is just a part of life. If you are negative most of the time though, it could be a sign that you have gone off track in recovery. The fact that you are now trying to do the right things should mean that you have plenty of great things to enjoy and look forward to in life; if this isn’t happening, you need to find out what has gone wrong. You can use your positivity as a barometer of your sobriety, although you need to be careful that you do not become so positive that you begin taking your recovery for granted.

5. You Are Sleeping Well at Night

The inability to sleep at night can suck all the enjoyment out of life. It means that your thinking is going to be fuzzy, and you will be too tired to do things that can bring you happiness. They say that the ability to sleep well at night is the sign of clean conscious, and there does seem to be some truth to this. If you are able to get a full-night’s sleep, it probably means that you deal well with the challenges in life, not being caught up in thoughts about the past and future.

6. You Experience Moments of Serenity

Serenity is a feeling of deep calm and tranquillity, rather like feelings of bliss. If you have been experiencing moments of serenity, you can view it as a sign that you should keep doing what you are doing, meaning you are on the right track. As you develop your sobriety, you can expect to experience serenity more frequently, so you can use this as a way to judge your progress, although it is important to not depend too much on this blissful feeling for guidance, as it can be elusive when you go looking for it.

7. People Seek You Out for Advice

If people are coming to you to ask for your opinion or support, it often means that they see you as a person who is doing relatively well in life. It is very easy for humans to deceive themselves, which is why this type of feedback can be so important. Others may be able to spot the signs that you are heading towards a relapse before you can, and they can notice when you are doing well.

8. You See Challenges in Life as a Chance to Grow

The attitude you have towards the difficulties in life is another powerful indicator of the current state of your sobriety. If you view every difficulty as a personal attack from life, it probably means that you are under a little stress. A much better attitude is to view these challenges as a chance to grow and develop. These obstacles force you to develop new coping strategies and once you have enough coping strategies, you will be able to deal with anything that comes your way. It is also important to treat failure as an opportunity to learn because knowing what doesn’t work can be as important as knowing what does – the only real failure in life is giving up.

9. Others Remark on How Much You’ve Changed

It is so easy to take progress in recovery for granted. Your transformation usually happens slowly, and you may not even notice how much you have changed. This is why it is so nice to encounter individuals who have not seen you for a long time. These individuals can often spot a dramatic change, and it is nice to hear them remark on this; it is also a very positive sign. It is best not to depend too much on receiving this type of comment, but it is nice when it happens.

10. You No Longer Feel the Need to Hide From Life

The driving force behind substance abuse is often the desire to hide from life. Alcohol and drugs can numb your thinking so you do not have to deal with things. If you no longer feel this urge to escape sobriety, it is a very positive sign. Of course, it is so easy to fall into denial and ignore new maladaptive behaviours. If you spending an excessive amount of time engaged in activities like work, exercise, sex, shopping, gambling, the internet, or comfort eating, it could mean that you are still trying to hide from life.

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