Good Addiction Recovery Starts With a Good Plan


Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH
Recovery from chemical dependency requires motivation and a will to succeed. Any worthy endeavor in life requires a good plan, and addiction recovery is no different. A good plan begins with the end goal in mind. Knowing what the end goals looks like provides a roadmap of what it is going to take to get there. An example of this is to think of taking a trip. What is the destination and what is it going to take to get there? What is the mode of transportation? How long is it going to take and what should be packed to make the journey? Recovery is much this way with motivation (gas in the tank), desire, daily living tasks such as eating and exercise, distractions with social groups and hobbies that involve other people just to name a few.
Sometimes a person who is struggling with addiction recovery may not have a motivation problem, but a direction problem. They may not simply know where they are going or how to get there. They can become stuck and begin to have trouble how to become unstuck. There are 3 questions a person can ask of themselves in this situation; and this can go for any situation, not just chemical addiction issues. Make a list of everything you can think of when answering these questions. Take your time and think it through about where you are going.
  1. What are the changes that I want to make?
  2. What are the most important reasons for making these changes?
  3. What positive results do you hope to achieve by making these changes?
There is a famous quote that says “a journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step.” The first step of recovery is getting a plan together. Take some time to brainstorm where it is going, what positive impacts it will have and what it is going to take to get there.

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