How Do You Gauge Success in Recovery?

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How Do You Gauge Success in Recovery?




PERSISTENCE is the key to recovery.

Employing recovery activities that are sustainable over the long run helps reinforce change.

“We can never be the way we were, but we can always be working towards being better.”


Ideal Recovery is a long term life change that frees you from substance reliance, strife, and dysfunction. However, as we learn to cope with life on life's terms, we realize that this really is success, one day at a time. Where you've been in the past does not dictate where you are going, but it does give you clues into how YOU can avoid backsliding on that slipper slope. Creating meaningful lifestyle change means putting new behaviors into action, using your improved ability to think clearly and making recovery activities part of your daily life. Only you have to get up and live your life everyday; identify what makes your life meaningful to you and get out there and seize the life that you deserve! 


Overcome Obstacles

Recovery is a learning process. As you grown and change, you will need to revamp your relapse prevention strategy from time to time to meet you where you're at. The rate after you continue to think about using is different for everyone, but most people in recovery admit they they at least have fleeting thoughts on a pretty regular basis, if not all the time, during times of stress. Grounding techniques and intentional diversion of thought helps greatly but the thoughts still exist all the same. Many people cite anger and frustration over these thoughts but there's just no sense in stressing it. When something has been a profoundly persistent part of your life, it's normal that it crosses your mind from time to time. There's no need to romance the thoughts, but just like when you lose a loved one, these remnant thoughts are proof that addiction exists in your life. Observe the thoughts without stress or fear and let them pass as you flow into what you're doing in the present. A thought not followed up by action is simply a figment of your imagination. Give it no more credit or attention: it is what it is. Relapse is real, and sometimes even the strongest recovery stumbles from time to time. 


Preparedness requires having support in place, BEFORE you need it. Compile a list of key support contacts, community resources, and other information that you can reach out to in a pinch. One of the easiest ways to access help when you need it, is by immersing yourself in a culture of recovery, motivation, and positivity way before you need to lean on it for support.


"Slips" are a reminder that if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Never use a slip as an excuse to go back down the rabbit hole! It's not too late: call your sponsor, visit a sober friend, do whatever it takes! 


Full Relapse...So you fell off the wagon and went on a bender?! Okay. It's not ideal, but if it happens- take every step that you can to STOP and seek help before you end up right back where you started. The longer you use, the hard it becomes to pull yourself back out of the chaos. 


Renewed recovery is achieved after a slip or relapse lets you know that you weren't doing as "fine" as you thought you were. This is a time when you get back to the basics and reach out for additional support from 12-step or other recovery groups and professionals, to ensure that you're not going to fall back into old patterns.


Make Sure that Your Plan is as Diverse 

Everything that you have learned in life, and in treatment, will have an opportunity to be put to use in the future. Developing your personalized relapse prevention plan is key in keeping yourself on target with recovery goals, even if there comes a point when your impulses back begin to backslide.

Relapse prevention, like everything in recovery, requires you to take action. Don’t just think you know what you are going to do to maintain your program: WRITE IT DOWN.  “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Discuss your relapse prevention strategies and ideas with your counselor, doctor, family, and friends. Continuous personal accountability and repetitive action will serve your long-term sobriety goals.



Ensure that your relapse prevention plan is written down and includes:

• Names & phone Numbers for support
• a list of your coping skills
• A letter that you have written to yourself in case you start to think about relapsing

• Surround yourself with positive peers.
• Be confident in identifying and making necessary changes.
• Make sure that you are consistent in the changes you make.


We hope to be a part of your relapse prevention plan!


We know that after treatment, every encouraging word, every daily tip, and every smile, counts. You will experience ups and downs as you put your skills to work and reclaim your life, and even if it's only a little bit, we want to make sure that your days are bursting with rays of sunshine when you need it most! Since recovery is a life-long process of self reflection, gratitude, and coping, we've figured that it's best to just make our recovery community easily accessible to you each and every day - however you prefer. 


Pinterest Inspiration boards to keep you focused on YOU!
@Tiger Mountain Recovery for Women


Facebook A supportive online community for recovery in action.


Twitter Bite-sized information & motivation everyday @TMRecovery


Instagram Horses, Humor, & Quotes for Everyday Inspiration!  @TigerMountainRecovery




Our online newspaper of  information and  resources can be delivered right to your inbox! We hope that you'll find it an invaluable part of your relapse prevention plan as you keep up with news in health, science, mental health, and addiction research.


Recovery IS Possible!

Meg Glidden, MS, NCC


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