Here at AToN Center we see a lot of people coming into treatment and successfully staying sober. There is no magical cure for substance use, but we have noticed a few things that successful people have in common:
1. Keep an open mind. This can be hard to do! We all have our perceptions and preconceived notions about rehab and different treatment modalities. At AToN Center our goal is to accept the resident right where they are in treatment, and challenge them to go to the next level. A key component to changing, is allowing yourself to change. In order to do this one needs to relinquish some control, keep an open mind, and remain cognitively flexible. We notice that the individuals who are successful let go of their old attitudes and opinions, and are willing to look at their situation with a new perspective.
2. Challenge yourself. Ok, so this is similar to number 1, but people fighting substance use really need to challenge themselves! These challenges depend on the individual, but in general require the person to step outside of their comfort zone and do things differently than they have in the past.
3. Manage distress. Getting sober is not fun. It can be stressful and it will most certainly require one to obtain new tools to handle stress versus the old “tools” (or your substance of choice). Individuals need to know that there will be moments of discomfort, but they pass. And, the more one is able to sit through distress and practice new skills, the easier it gets.
4. Support. More specifically getting what you need from your support system. Often times family members and friends will try to be supportive, but they may not know the best way to help. People who are successful in recovery are able to tell their loved ones what they need and set appropriate boundaries. This may actually mean telling your support network how NOT to enable you. This often requires a huge shift in the entire way a family, couple, or group functions. It is not easy, but AToN Center strives to support our residents in doing this through our family therapy component of treatment.
5. Follow through. Just do it, even if you think you don’t need it. The people who succeed are the ones who go to Intensive Outpatient Programs, outpatient appointments, and meetings afterward. Even when they are feeling good, confident, and strong, they still show up.
6. Hope. Last but perhaps most important is hope. Allow yourself to be hopeful, start thinking about what your life could be like. Visualize the future that you want. People overcome substance use every day and you can do it too!
Believe in yourself, AToN believes in you!
Dr. Leslie Sanders
AToN Center 888-535-1516