Recovery is a life-long process. Those familiar with 12-Step programs know there is no finish line with balloons and streamers once they’ve completed their steps. 12-Step programs are a way of life that teaches us how to live with all aspects of addiction. Each program has its own objective, suggested guidelines and tips for staying positive in recovery. Al-Anon is no exception. This program, created for the loved ones of those who suffer from addiction, has helped thousands stay positive as they learn to cope with the effects of addiction on their lives.
Al-Anon believes addiction is a family disease, and that loved ones need recovery just as the addicted person does. In Al-Anon, people share their experience, strength, and hope to better understand and cope with their situation.
The meeting welcome statement says, “…in Al-Anon we discover that no situation is really hopeless and that it is possible for us to find contentment, and even happiness, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.” Can you imagine having happiness even if your loved one is still drinking or using drugs? It is possible, and here are 10 tips for staying positive.
- Read Al-Anon Conference-Approved Literature: Courage to Change and Hope for Today are great daily readers that can lift spirits and keep the positive energy up.
- Pray! Ask your Higher Power to guide your thoughts and actions.
- Be of service: By helping someone, we’re forced to get out of our own problems.
- Let go of things you can’t control: This is a tough one. Say the Serenity Prayer until it clicks.
- Meditate on the fact that you are not alone. Attending Al-Anon meetings helps you remember that.
- Smile even if you don’t want to; the act of smiling releases mood-boosting endorphins.
- Practice gratitude: Keep an appreciation journal and write down everything you’re grateful for.
- Build your support system: Get numbers from other Al-Anon members, and don’t be afraid to reach out to talk to someone. Open up and remember isolation is a dark place where negatives develop!
- Make a decision to be positive. If you feel yourself slipping, consciously decide to change your mind.
- Practice self care. Work with a therapist, establish for yourself a healthy routine, and set boundaries.
These are just a few tips for staying positive in recovery. Feel free to add your own and share these tips with whoever needs them. Sharing supports positive recovery experiences!