Keeping a Healthy Perspective in Early Addiction Recovery

January 28, 2013 Karl Shallowhorn, MS, CASAC

Early recovery can be a difficult time for many individuals. Whether it is the rollercoaster of emotions to PAWS (Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome) this period can challenge even the most steadfast recovering person.

Negative Factors in Early Addiction Recovery

In both my personal and professional experience I have seen many addicts struggle with the prospect of remaining abstinent for a prolonged period of time. This can be due to several factors: lack of a viable support system, low self-esteem/poor self-image, and a history of previous failed attempts, to name but a few.

And then there are the thoughts of self doubt. “What if I can’t stay clean?” “What will my old friends say?” “This has never worked before.” This pattern of pessimistic thinking serves to keep the addict in a perpetual negative mind-set. Addiction is so tied into our thoughts and feelings. Underneath all this is the actual biochemical process that makes this lifestyle a reality for so many millions around the world.

A Good Attitude is Key

So how can the addict overcome these self-induced thought patterns? The major component, I believe, lies in one’s attitude. Are you looking at your new life in recovery as an opportunity or just another situation to be dealt with? I don’t mean to say that every day you spring out of bed shouting, “I LOVE MY LIFE!” but I do believe that if you take the time to really think about it you can find something to be grateful for. Gratitude is an essential part of recovery. It is so important to look at where we came from and keep everything in perspective. Even with just a few days clean we can find a shred of gratitude for the opportunity we have been given to turn our lives around. Yes, it does get better with time.

The Power of Patience

Patience is another valuable component of the early recovery equation. Face it, addiction can cause a lot of damage. Broken relationships, legal problems, lost jobs. These are all part of the wreckage of many of our pasts. But with time some of these things can be restored. So often we get so wrapped up in our own little heads that we lose a proper perspective on how things really are. As the saying goes, “More will be revealed.”

Early recovery can be a truly exciting time in one’s life. Everything can appear so new. With a proper perspective and hopeful outlook anything is possible. You just have to believe it.

APA Reference
Shallowhorn, K. (2013, January 28). Keeping a Healthy Perspective in Early Addiction Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 17 from

Author: Karl Shallowhorn, MS, CASAC

Leave a reply