It can be challenging to prove to your family, loved ones, and friends that you are serious about your recovery especially if you've tried several times before. These are the three most important steps you need to take to prove that you are serious about your recovery.
Don't you hate the dreaded question, "What will be different this time?"
Tip #1- Things you shouldn't say.
These are common statements for people in early recovery to say,
"I just want to put this mess behind me and move forward."
Now on the surface, there doesn't seem to be a lot wrong with that statement. To your family and your loved ones, it sounds like you want to forget every bad thing that happened and move forward without changing anything and never even acknowledging it.
I get why you would want to put it behind you, but most of the time family members think you have to deal with it to make sure it doesn't happen again. A better way to say that same thing would be to say, "You know what, this has been an awful journey, and I'll do whatever it takes to ensure it never happens again." You're saying the same thing, but you're saying it in a way that lets the other person know that you're serious about it, and you do get it.
Now another statement that I sometimes hear people say or regularly hear people say is, "my recovery is my business. Stay out of it."
Unless you live by yourself and you are self-supporting, then your recovery, whether or not you do good in your recovery, will impact a lot of the people around you now. I'm not saying that they get to decide what you do and what you don't do, but let's not be dismissive of their feelings.
If a family member or a friend suggests that you do something that you're not comfortable with, sit down and have a discussion with them about it. You may want to explain why you don't feel like that particular solution is ideal for you. It's going to be difficult to do because you may feel defensive or backed into a corner, but if you take five extra minutes to have this discussion, it'll save you hours of debate in the future, and you'll be building a ton of trust in the process.
Another statement that I hear people in early recovery say a lot is, "I'm not as bad as anybody in that group. They're way worse than I am."
There may be some truth to that, but the thing about it is if you say that to your loved ones, they interpret that as "I didn't have a problem."
That makes them think you'll go back out there and make the same mistakes. If you aren't as bad as everyone else in your recovery program, say something like, "you know what, seeing some of these other people lets me know where this road goes, and it makes me glad I'm addressing it now."
I know most of the time when you say these things, it's not that you don't get it. It's just that it's uncomfortable, and you're embarrassed and don't want to talk about it. The more you don't talk about it, the more they pry, the more they're in your business, and the more they don't trust you.
The second thing you need to do is prove to yourself, and everyone else around you that you're serious about your recovery from addiction is to put accountability things in place for yourself.
You're going to have to change some things in your life and bring some other things into your life to ensure you make good decisions when you're having a bad day. If you're being honest with yourself about it, you realize there will be moments where you're weak or having a bad day, and you want to try hard to ensure you don't fall through the cracks when those days come.
Now let's talk about some things that you can do.
You can be honest with the people around you about the fact that you have an addiction.
It goes a long way to hold you accountable. You will be less likely to show up to a function intoxicated or using something or engaging in your addictive behavior when you know everyone around you knows you're not supposed to be doing that. That's a considerable accountability step. You can delete contacts from your phone that don't need to be there.
You can even change your phone number. That's a big step. I know it's a headache, but it's not nearly as big as having to pull yourself up out of a relapse.
Another thing you can do is get rid of the things you've been keeping around that, you know, you shouldn't have. For example, any substances or paraphernalia. Deleting numbers for your friends who are still using. Anything that triggers you to think about using.
Doing these will show your seriousness and your commitment to the issue.
Tip #4- Accountability
Another step that you can take to hold yourself accountable is getting yourself set up with a recovery monitoring program.
Now, this is the ultimate accountability. If you struggled with alcohol in the past, I strongly recommend Soberlink. I have been recommending Soberlink for years, long before I ever had a YouTube channel.
The way it works is you'll create a schedule of when to be breathalyzed. Usually, that's somewhere around two or three times a day in the beginning. You'll get a text message 15 minutes before that time, letting you know that you have a test due, and you get an hour from your set time.
No one will ever know you have it. It's about the size of your phone, and they give you a case to carry it in that looks like a fancy sunglasses case.
After taking your test, the results are recorded, and it keeps a record of all your tests and the picture it took to prove yes, it was you that took it. Here's the best part, your test results can be sent automatically to a person of your choosing. For example, we have a ton of clients in our office who use Soberlink, and their results go to me, but you can have them sent to your recovery coach, your family member, your sponsor, or your counselor.
Now let's move on to tip number three, about how to show that you're serious about your recovery and you want to stay sober. This one is nice because this sort of ties it all together.
The third tip I have for you is being able to listen non-defensively to the questions, concerns, and feedback of your friends, your family, your boss, your coworkers, or whoever else knows about it.
I'm not saying you have to put up with the beating you down, but I am saying that you should allow them to talk and listen empathetically to their side of things. Again, when you can do that, it shows that you get it.
I was hoping you could watch this video on Essential Steps for Rebuilding Trust Inside Families