As 2020 comes to an end, and as we gear up to enter 2021, many of us are left feeling confused, empty, stressed, and exhausted as this year has been one of the most challenging years in current history. The global pandemic has taken too many lives and livelihoods to count. Many of us no longer trust our government leaders. Neighbors and friends have pinned themselves against each other because of our opposing views on COVID-19. This pandemic has led to a mental health and addiction crisis. We have consumed more alcohol than normal, we have turned to drugs and the bottle to soothe our pain and we may even have lost our sobriety due to the insurmountable amount of stress and devastation that we, as a society have experienced. But with difficult challenges, devastations and hardships come growth, new beginnings, and strength. For those of us who have slipped out of sobriety or who have given up in our recovery, a new year means that we have a chance to begin again. For those of us who became addicted to drugs or alcohol for the first time, 2021 can be a chance to enter into recovery. We have a chance to celebrate a New Year in sobriety, so let’s take it.
Reflect on your journey
Now that 2020 is nearly in the rearview mirror, we can take time to reflect on this past year by expressing gratitude for our accomplishments and by taking accountability for our mistakes. Maybe we stayed strong in our recovery and if so, we should celebrate. Or maybe we relapsed or were in the deepest throes of our addiction. Whatever we encountered in 2020, whether good or bad, we should take this time to reflect, learn, celebrate, and set new goals. After all, without failure, we cannot have success and without success, we will never have growth.
Find your tribe
Social gatherings quickly turned into virtual gatherings through this past year and many of us lost loved ones and friends due to this pandemic, due to different political views, and due to the sorrows of addiction. Whether it is remembering old friends, making new friends, and/or strengthening the bonds we already have with our friends, 2021 should be a year of focusing on embracing a strong support group. Without support from others, we cannot be successful in recovery in this upcoming year as successful recovery takes a village and we need to work on rebuilding and strengthening that village.
Part of having a New Year in sobriety means taking accountability for our actions, whether good or bad.
- Find an accountability partner: Most treatment centers emphasize the importance of having an accountability partner; an individual who understands our struggle, supports our efforts, and refuses to be an enabler. It’s not just about having someone to turn to when we are feeling a trigger. Having an accountability partner also helps us tackle the detrimental effects of secrecy and isolation while sticking to our accountability decision.
- Create a personal accountability statement/journal: Write down why you are choosing to be accountable for your sobriety and what the risks will be if you do not keep that promise to yourself.
- Learn your triggers and create healthy coping skills to handle them
- Find assistive technologies that work for you: Online support platforms and smartphone apps have opened many new doors to easy and economical ways to track our sobriety status and stay connected to those who can support our recovery.
- Consider entering addiction treatment: Being successful in our sobriety and recovery in 2021 means that we should ask for help if we have not already. Although there is no “cure” for addiction, there are many steps and coping skills we can adopt to stay in recovery. Addiction treatment will give you the necessary steps to enter recovery. After all, we need mental health and addiction professionals to guide us through our journey, and by investing in an addiction treatment center in 2021, we are not only investing in our recovery but we are also investing in ourselves.
- Celebrate your successes, even the small ones
- Share your successes with others
Set goals for the coming year
Making New Year’s resolutions is a perfect opportunity to make goals for this coming year. Whether it is connecting with more people, taking more time to yourself, learning a new hobby, moving your body more, or joining an addiction recovery support group, setting new goals can help keep you accountable in 2021.
Ring in the New Year in sobriety
New Year’s Eve is often celebrated with friends and alcohol, however, this does not have to be the case, especially for those who are in recovery or who are choosing to stay sober for any other reason. New Year’s Eve can mean game nights, sleeping under the stars in a tent, cooking an elaborate dinner at home with friends, watching a movie, or having a sober party.
Quest 2 Recovery: Center for Addiction and Mental Health
As treatment professionals, it is our job to reach out to those who are struggling this holiday season and throughout this pandemic. We want to see you succeed in your recovery journey in the New Year. If you are struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, we want to help you. We at Quest2Recovery, want to treat you, the individual, and not just your disorder. We want to break the mold, set the standard, and be role models for the rest of the addiction treatment industry. We want to invite you to seek help in a compassionate, non-judgmental environment.