I have blogged about this topic before. About rewarding yourself for things you do right, and treating yourself, because you deserve it.
Today I am 181 days sober, which makes 6 month! I think about how I felt when I was in rehab, and after my relapse, and how 6 months seemed impossible. How could I possibly stay sober for that long? These days it feels easy. Not effortless, by any means. I’m still being propped up by counseling and medication, and I’m still taking life one day at a time. But being and staying sober is not the chore it used to be.
I’m here to tell you that you can do it too, no matter how hard or scary it feels. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and the days will pass before you know it.
This week’s safe coping strategy is:
Reward yourself. Find a healthy way to celebrate anything you do right.
For my six month anniversary, I got a pedicure. And tonight I’m going out for a fancy dinner with my husband. Six months sober is an amazing accomplishment, and I’m going to reward myself for it.
I used to down play my accomplishments. It’s only six months. I’m still an addict. Stuff like that. But, I’ve learned over time to own my accomplishments, and to be proud of myself. It’s better to focus on the positive than to get down on myself for the negative or to look to the future with fear. I’d love to be able to say the next six months will be a breeze, but that’s not true. But, I don’t think about that. I think about here, now, today. Today I have been sober for 6 months, and that’s a great thing.
Reward yourself for one day, one week, one month, three months, all of it. The work you’re doing is difficult, and anyone doing it successfully is an amazing individual. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a treat.
But please, do not fall into the trap of thinking things are “safe” again, as in, that you could use again. This is dangerous thinking, and almost every single person falls right back into the old self. They cannot recreationally use anymore. It will only lead to a disastrous relapse. Which is why the coping strategy says to find a healthy way to celebrate.
Take yourself on a date, spend a day doing things that make you happy. Take the day off of work. Go on a little trip. Do whatever it is that feels like a reward to you. Because you deserve it.