Recovery is a personal journey. There are several different ways to realize that someone may need professional assistance in confronting their relationship with drugs, alcohol, or any number of potentially debilitating mental health disorders. For some, interventions may help them realize the extent to which addiction has affected the lives of those around them. Interventions may also help someone realize the importance of beginning the journey of recovery. For others, professional fallout or signs of unhealthy coping mechanisms may be the critical moment needed to start their journey. However, it is essential to note the various factors at play when someone makes this crucial decision. Finding the starting point of one’s recovery journey can be a critical moment in forming realistic goals that will help them through each step of the process.
Identifying the Elements of Your Starting Point
Making the crucial decision to seek help with an addiction or co-occurring mental health disorder is a huge step. It is essential to look at the various elements that helped someone decide and take stock of their daily life before they began their recovery journey. Finding one’s starting point means making notes of one’s emotional state on a day-to-day basis, documenting times of the day in which anxieties are high. It can also mean noting how often someone may feel depressed on average per day or week or experience frequent mood swings or irritation. Looking at these elements can be a difficult experience as someone unpacks the extent of the effects of an addiction or co-occurring mental health disorder. However, this step is necessary for someone to set a reasonable and progressive path for recovery.
Someone’s starting point also indicates how frequently someone engages with an addictive substance or behavior. Daily engagement with alcohol may cause someone to set goals for themselves that they wouldn’t typically set. They may also be addressing weekly episodes of panic rather than looking at their ambitions. Establishing this aspect of the starting point can be done by measuring how often someone engages with such behavior or by using a financial metric. Looking at a financial metric includes looking at how much money someone spends engaging with addictive substances, actions, or other destructive coping mechanisms.
Setting Attainable Goals
Knowing where someone is starting their recovery journey can help each person establish personal and impactful goals. Recovery goals usually revolve around the idea of complete control over one’s urges, coping mechanisms, or agency over one’s instinctual responses. However, there are several smaller goals that each person will need to set for themselves along the way. While someone is learning about their triggers and recontextualizing their world view through a lens not impacted by the use of drugs or alcohol, it can be challenging to simultaneously expect them to exhibit complete control over urges and coping mechanisms. Setting attainable goals is essential in helping someone move from their starting point and help them take the first steps down the recovery path. For some, this can mean beginning to spend less money engaging with addictive behavior, such as shopping or gambling. While the ultimate goal may still be to cease one’s gambling behaviors, cutting the amount of money that someone spends on lottery tickets is a step that is both incredibly impactful and also attainable.
A Point to Look Back On
Whether someone is accomplishing their first recovery goals or celebrating their first year sober, objectively creating these starting points can provide a constant visual of how much change has occurred in their journey. Recovery isn’t linear, and there will be times of significant change and pride, as well as times of difficulty. During these difficult times, looking back at where someone began their journey and their progress can work as a tool for motivation. Stressors may be constant, or someone may be experiencing the shame of a slip in their recovery. Looking back at how often someone used to engage with addictive substances or behaviors can give much-needed context to someone’s success every day.
Working with professionals can help someone begin to understand their starting point. However, it is essential to create an image of this point for one’s self. Creating this image involves looking at how they felt or how often they would engage with destructive behaviors. By doing so, each person can track how their goals change through recovery and the beginning of creating their own, transformed future.
Finding your starting point can be a difficult thing to do. However, it is never too late to take the first step towards your sober future. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or are experiencing daily difficulties due to a mental health disorder, START UP RECOVERY can help. We will help you find your starting point and work with you to set a path to the goals you want to accomplish. The luxurious atmosphere in our apartment facilities ensures each person feels as comfortable as possible while confronting their vulnerabilities. Professionals, peers, and mentors will work directly with you to establish a plan that focuses on your strengths and adopts a therapeutic approach that can best reach you using your interests, while also introducing effective, standard practices. For more information on how START UP RECOVERY can help you or to speak to a caring professional about your unique situation, call us today at (310) 773-3809.