Breaking Through Recovery Plateau
It seems as though every aspiration or goal people take on in life will inevitably be met with something called a plateau. It’s the dreaded period where motivation wanes and a set routine becomes less rewarding; the feeling of moving upward dissipates and is replaced with the daunting feeling of a standstill. When people in recovery find themselves in a rut, it can become a pivotal point, for better or worse, making plateau preparation something important to consider.
Whether someone has been in recovery for several months or more than a decade, feeling stuck or adrift can be an isolating and scary experience. One common sign that a change is needed is when someone feels like they spend most of their time staying away from triggers, remaining in their safe space to avoid relapse. Those actions aren’t forward-propelling but instead focus on staying in place. Finding inspiration sounds like an obvious method to overcome such a lull, but it’s easier said than done. Seeking out a role model for motivation is just one of many ways to move forward in recovery. People who have overcome substance use disorder and have gone on to do amazing things can provide a newfound outlook on the future while providing a template for resiliency. Such muses can be found in books and movies and real life! Attending recovery seminars or book readings with survivors who want to share their stories could be just the thing needed to push through a period of complacency.
Take on a Challenge
When recovery life becomes nearly effortless, people tend to fall into the habit of dodging surprises and unforeseen circumstances because it’s much easier to remain in control. However, this can quickly throw recovery into plateau mode and invite the dangers of boredom. Taking on new challenges is vital to moving forward in life, with the satisfaction of new achievements breathing life into a routine. Challenges don’t always have to be dramatic or grandiose like hiking to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro; in fact, it’s best if they’re more personal. Learning a new skill or taking on a complex DIY project are examples of achievable adventures that can reinvigorate recovery. With so many free online resources to attain guidance and direction, it’s never been easier to take on a new challenge.
Talk it Out
While in recovery, a sounding board or listener is crucial for everyone, whether a substance use counselor or a loved one. They may not be able to provide exactly the answer needed to break through a recovery rut, but discussion surrounding the issue could be exactly enough to deepen insight into the problem. Sometimes the best advice comes from people who share their personal experiences, making open dialogue a valuable resource. Confiding in a trusted person or professional can make all the difference when a plateau hits.
The specialized professionals at Recovery Services of New Mexico understand that addiction recovery is a lifetime commitment. Along with comprehensive treatment programs, RSONM clinics provide patients with referrals to recovery resources that help people beyond their medication-assisted treatment program. Call or message a local clinic today to learn more about RSONM’s whole-patient approach to substance use disorder recovery.