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Hope: An Essential Element of Addiction Recovery

Sign of Hope (Unsplash)

Hope is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as “the feeling that something desired can be had or will happen.” Hope helps people recover from addiction and to see the light on a day that may be filled with darkness.

There are frustrations and set-backs during the recovery process, but those going through treatment must hang on to the hope that they can get better, that their lives can change, that they can conquer the addiction.  Hope is what keeps you fighting for your recovery, for a return to health and happiness and to a life free from addiction.

 Does Hope for Recovery Really Help?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) branch of the U.S. Department of Health Services states, “Hope, the belief that these challenges and conditions can be overcome, is the foundation of recovery. A person’s recovery is built on his or her strengths, talents, coping abilities, resources, and inherent values. It is holistic, addresses the whole person and their community, and is supported by peers, friends, and family members.”

Recovering addict, entrepreneur, and freelance blogger Andy Macia, writes about the importance of keeping hope alive. He spent two years in prison and then a time in a rehabilitation center and has now been clean and sober for nine years. He says: “Hope is vital to recovery. You need it to stay positive and keep moving forward. You need to believe that you can change, and that a better life is within reach despite everything you’ve been through.”

 

What are Some Strategies That Can Help?

Macia also notes that it can be very difficult to stay hopeful during the recovery process. He offers some strategies and tools that he says, “really made a difference to me.”

  • Acceptance: You are where you are. Acknowledge it, but do not let it own you. Note changes you need to make for your future.
  • Goals: Set achievable goals for yourself. Take it slowly. Make a goal for the day, then the week. Whatever goal you set for yourself, make it realistic and then believe you can attain it.
  • Share and listen: Pay close attention to stories of hope you hear from others. When you hear stories of triumph, it will give you hope that you, too, can overcome your addictions. Be willing to share your own stories of success so that you can give hope to others.
  • Gratitude: When you can be grateful for the positive things you have in your life, it can restore your hope that things can once again be good.

Remember that hope allows you to believe that better things are within your reach. Hope allows you to believe you will recover from your addiction. The ability to remain hopeful despite setbacks is vital to a resilience necessary to recovery.

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