New Year’s Resolution
Whether your 2021 New Year’s resolution is to begin your recovery journey or continue your sobriety for another year to come, your decision is commendable. After all, the first step to solving a problem is acknowledging there is a problem. The second step is to have the willpower to make a plan of action to fix the problem. You’re ahead of the game!
Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction is an arduous process. As the weeks, months, and years of sober living grow in numbers, your resolve grows with it. Resolve in recovery is a wonderful thing. Once you settle into sobriety, your determination to uphold the decision to remain free of addictive substances becomes the firm foundation on which you live your life.
Willingness Over Willpower
Those who struggle with addiction are well aware of its effect on willpower. Indeed, it’s the lack of willpower, or resolve, that inhibits most substance abusers from quitting their drug of choice. It’s not uncommon for loved ones to ask the question: why can’t you stop? The torturous fact of the matter is that most users want to quit using.
Unfortunately, fear of pain is an incredible motivator. Drug abusers fear the pain of withdrawal, rejection, shame, boredom, humiliation, loneliness, insignificance, and sometimes reality as a whole. Those who began their substance abuse in an attempt to escape from the stressors of reality may not want to remove their crutch. Therefore, many people who struggle with fears of sobriety themselves often require a rock-bottom experience. This is because they need tangible proof that their addiction is worse than any fear regarding sobriety or willpower.
Following rock-bottom, your fears of sobriety no longer control you. Instead, your driving force is the knowledge that if you don’t get sober, you will lose the things you care about forever– whether that be a job, your family, or even your life. To this end, you acknowledge the importance of sobriety and are willing to start recovering.
Fortunate for you, willpower is not a requirement to begin your recovery journey. The only requirement to jumpstart sobriety is the willingness to recover. Willingness allows you to seek out the help of others and lean on them during the early stages of recovery. It is important to have a support system when you first establish abstinence in your life because that is when your resolve will be at its weakest and your cravings will be at an all-time high.
Recovery: The Later Years
After an extended period of sustained sobriety, you’ll find that your resolve is invigorated. The powerlessness and shame that ravage early recovery tapered off. In addition, the cravings you felt every few minutes lessened to hours, which lessen to days, which in turn disappeared entirely. As a result, your confidence in your sobriety soars, and as does your resolve.
Seeing your drug of choice will no longer trigger you in the same violent manner. Hearing people talk about the substance will leave you unphased. In fact, you will not only be able to acknowledge the existence of your addictive drug but even be around it without the stronghold of cravings breaking down your resolve. Likewise, run-ins with drugs and alcohol will no longer be there to test you. They will simply be there.
In short, you will eventually have the resolve you picture in your head as being necessary for continued sobriety. It is important to remember, that level of resolve is not a requirement to follow through on your New Year’s recovery resolution. You have the willingness to recover and the willpower to maintain your recovery will come to you along the way.