If you’ve worked hard to make changes in your life, you know that the journey to recovery isn’t always a smooth one. There may be times when you feel like you’re just not making progress, or you may experience a discouraging setback or two.
It’s not uncommon to lose your motivation during these rough patches; in fact, you might even feel like giving up. In this article, we’ll look at some positive steps you can take to get through even the toughest of times.
Why Do I Feel Like Giving Up?
The first thing to do when you feel your motivation slipping is to figure out what’s going on to cause this slump. What kinds of stresses have you endured recently that may have chipped away at your resolve? Are you exhausted from too many long hours at work? Have you been stressed or drained by problems in your personal relationships?
If you’re recovering from addiction, have you been dealing with too many situations that tempt or trigger you? You can’t be proactive about your current state of mind until you know exactly what you’re dealing with. Once you figure out how you got to the point of wanting to give up, you’ll feel more in control and better able to tackle the situation.
Know That This Is Temporary
When you remind yourself that your current feelings of hopelessness or despair are temporary, it can be easier to deal with them. Keep yourself busy and distracted with some of your favorite activities, and repeat positive affirmations like “This too shall pass,” or “I’ve got this.” Instead of saying “I can’t,” switch to a more positive form of self-talk.1 No matter how low you feel right now, it’s important to remember that it will get better in time.
Lean on Your Support System
There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it—recovery shouldn’t have to be a solo journey. Reach out to a trusted friend, sponsor or mentor and share your feelings. You’ll benefit from their encouraging words and support, and you can learn from their own experiences with difficult times. When you feel like giving up or are slipping in your recovery, it’s time to step up your other forms of support: 12-step meetings, support groups or therapy appointments. Remember—there are people in your life who want to help you.
Recovery is a lifelong process, and you’ll face your share of ups and downs along the way. Feelings of failure or hopelessness are nothing to be ashamed of; what’s important is how you react to these emotions. During a rough patch, it’s more important than ever to keep your recovery goals in mind and stick with them. The ancient philosopher Confucius said it best: “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”2
If you feel you need more support in recovery, consider counseling with The Light Program.