When people find themselves in the throes of addiction and toxic cycles, life can seem bleak and, at its worst, hopeless. Facing an uphill battle for daily existence is exhausting for both the person being affected and their loved ones. It can look like a battle that will never end, which is why we need hope in recovery treatment.
Hope is what causes us to be able to see a better future and persevere through hardships to get there. While hope alone won’t bring someone to a place of health, here are some thoughts on why we believe it is an important piece of the puzzle.
Hope serves as a motivator to encourage a person to make changes as well as providing kindness and grace when mistakes are made. Hope says a stumble isn’t a final sentence but just a minor bump in the road.
It also allows people to more fully delve into their emotions. In the early stages of recovery there can be a lot of complex emotions that are hard to process and accept. By speaking hope into those places, we allow for the negative to be identified along with the possibility of change. Emotions then become a temporary state that can be overcome. Hope gives someone in treatment the ability to say, “I am hurting, and I’ve made choices I’m not proud of, but I can do better and I’m not giving up.”
Seeing a Better Future
Hope is what allows someone to see beyond their current situation to a better one. It is the belief that one’s circumstances can change and the future they want is possible that pushes people through the hard times that come with the recovery process. Hope assures them it will all be worth it.
For example, if someone has a bad day and they want to return to what is comfortable and known, hope says “there is a better way” or “remember what you really want”. It keeps you focused and honest with yourself in a way that lifts you up rather than shames you into behavior.
Hope is the difference between someone giving up because they can’t see how anything is going to get better and the person who perseveres because they know it’s possible. This principle can also be seen in students who have difficult home lives or aren’t born into privilege. If they are hopeful for a future where anything is possible, it makes working through the hard stuff easier.
Holding You Accountable:
Here are a few ways hope can help you in the recovery process:
Hope can orient you and keep you committed to your recovery.
Hope can keep you focused on the positive changes you are making.
Hope can keep you committed to moving forward in a happy and healthy way.
Hope can keep you committed to self-care.
Hope can help you rebuild your life.
Hope can help you prioritize yourself.
Hope can help you during the recovery process.
Hope can be what you hold onto.
Hope is an internal resource that you can always carry in your heart.
-by Ashley Addiction Treatment
Though recovery is the responsibility of each person, the process of recovering should not be done alone. In fact, if you want to maintain hope and resiliency, you need resources to keep a positive mindset.
There are many ways to find hope. They vary from short term moments to a long-term life change. Knowing your tools and finding what works for you will help when you feel doubt creeping in.
Tools and Tips for Finding Hope
Accepting Your Current Situation
By accepting where you are at, you can acknowledge that where you are now is temporary and that creates room for hope of change. It takes a lot of courage to take a look at your life and see it for what it is. But it’s also really empowering to do so. From this step you can start to look forward and build the life you want that is free of addiction or negative cycles.
The way you speak to yourself matters and having reminders of positive affirmations is a simple and quick way to find hope throughout your day. A note in your wallet or backpack, a sticky note on your mirror, or a reminder on your phone are all options. Find a quote or mantra that you want to incorporate into your recovery journey. You also have the freedom to change them as you’d like.
A Vision Board
While vision boards have somewhat of a cheesy connotation, there is actually a lot of power in using one. It takes intentional thought and time to create one which is a hope building exercise on its own. Once it is completed you have a clear place you are striving towards and a visual reminder of it.
Finding a Spiritual Practice or Connection
By connecting with something larger than yourself you can remove the pressure to have “everything” figured out. Grounding yourself in nature, religion, or philosophy reminds yourself that help is necessary and a good thing to receive. This is also a step in the 12 Step Process of recovery.
Seeing Stories of Hope
Surround yourself with proof that recovery is possible! There are many stories of hope, resiliency, and successful recoveries. With social media being so accessible you can get connected to large communities of others dedicated to sobriety and building better lives for themselves. Look for content that helps support your hope and journey. You can subscribe to different media sources like our blog, podcasts, YouTube channels and creators on social media platforms.
At Victor, we know hope is at the center of our processes and company culture. We want to help others recover and live fulfilling lives free of addiction and unhealthy cycles. We encourage you to find community, seek out hope and receive help that is out there. With offices all over California we’d love for you to be a part of our mission to help others soar.