In recovery, you are doing better if you are doing something.
It’s not unusual to feel like others are doing better in their recovery journeys than we are. It’s hard to see our progress when we are in the middle of our recovery and personal growth journey. When we feel like everyone else is doing better in recovery, it helps to have accountability people around to guide us in the right direction and stay focused on our recovery.
What recovery is
Recovery is not a competition! Our recovery is a unique, continuous journey to find ourselves! None of our recovery journeys are going to look the same. Some people will progress faster, and some people will progress slower in their recoveries. Either way is fine because we are still progressing! We only need to compare ourselves to where we were the day before, the month before, etc.
Part of recovery is learning patience instead of instant gratification. Recovery is taking life as it comes—one day at a time, one minute at a time, etc. It also teaches us not to force things and to take things as they come. So, practicing acceptance is particularly important in recovery. This means accepting people, places, things, and situations for what they are and realizing that we can’t control anything outside of ourselves.
This also means being honest and accepting where we are in our own recovery journeys. We should remember where we were at our lowest bottom and realize where we are now. Recovery is self-directed, so stay focused on your recovery and keep doing the next right thing each day.
Staying focused on your recovery
When I started recovery, it felt like “Why is everybody getting it except me?” Now I take it nice and slow to ensure I get it the first time, so I do not miss anything.
But when we feel like everyone else is doing better than us in recovery, we have to remind ourselves that this belief is not true. There are tools that we can use to not only help us do this, but also help us stay focused on our own recovery journeys. Here are a few:
- Practicing gratitude changes our mindset to look for the positive. It’s a wonderful way to stay focused and stay positive about your recovery. This helps us stay hopeful and look forward to our recovery journey.
- Journaling is another way to keep track of our progress. It’s surprising to go back and look at the progress that has been made. Journaling also helps you keep track of goals and what you are doing in your recovery. Going through the previous entries and reading them can help ease frustration and worry that we are not progressing.
- Reaching out to your support team is also an amazing tool to gauge how you are doing. Your support team can be a friend, family member, sponsor, therapist, peer, support group, etc. They let us know if we are on track in our recovery journey, what our next steps could be, and offer support when we need it.
However, we choose to stay focused on our recovery is up to us. Remember that our progress is our progress, and no one can take that away from us.
The unconditional love we seek in the world we should have that love for ourselves…. Even if I have done bad things, think “I am still a good person” and love should come from yourself first.
Comparing ourselves to others can lead to unnecessary frustration. There will always be people in different stages and doing recovery in different ways than we are. Comparing ourselves to others, especially in recovery, can be a strong distraction and cause us to lose focus. It’s crucial in recovery to give yourself compassion and grace. It’s about progress, not perfection!
Self-care is one way we can give ourselves self-love. It helps us to feel good and benefits our mental well-being. This looks like asking yourself: Is there anything I need right now? Do I need sleep, rest, better boundaries, support, etc.? Practicing self-care also relieves stress and is necessary for healing.
Self-affirmation statements are another great way to show ourselves love. They remind us that we are right where we need to be. They can be great tools to use to combat negative self-talk because it can be difficult to get the “stinkin’ thinkin’” out of our heads. Especially because many of us have been through trauma and other events that make it hard for us to see the good that we are accomplishing.
Celebrating our milestones and our victories helps with this. Those milestones and victories may not seem important to others who are not going through what we are, but they are essential for us and our recovery. Those little celebrations remind us of how far we have come and what we have overcome.
Recovery is a learning experience. None of us are going to do it perfectly. If we find ourselves needing help, then we need to seek help. Find a peer support specialist, a recovery group, calling a warmline, our sponsor, or another person in recovery to talk to about what is going on, what our frustrations are, and what we are hoping to accomplish. This is our story and our journey! Let us make the best of it! And remember, we do not have to do this alone.