Recovery is closely interconnected or related to the selfless giving of oneself. This is a necessity that is constantly emphasized in every step of the 12-stepprogram. But the key point is to learn how and when to give such attention in recovery is very important.
There is a misconception that an act of sacrificing your needs to satisfy others is what recovery is all about. This might only hamper your recovery, leading to feelings of resentment and bitterness. For instance, if someone asks you to do something that you honestly have no time for, but still you agree to help because you believe that putting the other person’s needs before yours is what is expected of you. This is because, you might be living with the thought that selfishness is the root of your issues and you can overcome this by placing other’s needs before your own. Though this might be partially true, the result is not a reduction in selfishness but a denial of yourself, and the self-care that you require throughout your journey to sobriety.
Self-care is hardly considered while pursuing to help others. After all, how is it possible to put yourself first, when you are told that your selfishness is the root of your troubles?
You have to understand what it means to place yourself first in recovery before you could actually do that the right way. By doing this, you’ll be able to know why putting yourself first in recovery is important. Putting yourself first, does not mean attending to your needs while ignoring everyone around you, but what it means is that you must put your recovery before and above everything else.
For instance, during your treatment, you can kindly tell your parents not to call you and that you would call them. This doesn’t mean that you are rude, but you know that if you have to get sober, you couldn’t have them calling you all of the time questioning your every move. Though this may sound a bit selfish, it is actually an act of simply putting yourself first in order to recover. After all getting recovered could be the best gift you can give your family. So putting yourself means, to do the things that you need to do in order to achieve and maintain your recovery. Though situations are different with different people, it is always a rule of the thumb to make the choice of you and your recovery over other people and their needs.
One such area where you need to get your priority right is between you and your friendships. In early recovery, you seem to make a lot of friends, but as time goes by some people tend to back off. At situations like these where your friends start to use drugs, do you cling on to them or do you cut them out of your life, this is totally based upon your circumstances, likes and dislikes. But a recommended rule is to put your recovery first, regardless of your friends going mad at you.
Another situation like this could be your workplace. This is quite inconvenient as by the end of the day, you are with a need to pay your bills and make a living. But what you have to understand is by being a people pleaser; you might be at the risk of giving more than needed at work. Many alcoholics and addicts are great at work when they become sober, but the going gets difficult when you don’t realize your balance of when to give and when to step aside. Your job might play the negative role that pulls you away from your approach and dedication towards sobriety, which begins to affect your life. By putting yourself first, recovery becomes important and stepping aside and shifting your focus just a bit can do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
Learning to put your recovery is crucial not only because it will help you to maintain sobriety, but also because it will make you more helpful to others. You have to remember that you cannot transmit something that you haven’t got. You cannot carry the message of the 12 Steps if you yourself are at the wrong place. Self-neglect doesn’t harm you alone but also harms the people you could help, so remember to take care of yourself and your sobriety above all else.
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