When it comes to barriers to success and recovery, women face more of them than men. But that doesn’t mean recovery isn’t possible. It may mean that women have to work a little harder in some areas and, like anyone in recovery, be part of a strong support network. In addition, women can commit to some specific habits that will help ensure their success.
According to Marie Claire, a magazine “committed to celebrating the richness and scope of women’s lives,” powerful women do specific things every day that seem to contribute to their accomplishments. We’ve taken several of these ideas and modified them to show how they can relate to addiction recovery.
Visualizing the best-case scenario while preparing for the worst-case scenario
For many women, there’s a fine line between resorting to pessimism and acknowledging reality. What many powerful, successful women do in their day-to-day and in their long-term planning is think of themselves as being capable of attaining their dreams, while putting plans into place should they fail.
This visualization process isn’t too far from the very sound advice that can be received in recovery: know that you’re capable of overcoming addiction and commit to that success while also having a plan in place should you relapse. No one is perfect, and a worst-case scenario is a lot less terrible when you know what to do when and if it manifests.
Cutting down on comparisons
Did Whitney Houston compare herself to Mariah Carey? The answer is no, and you can see how she handled woman-to-woman comparisons in the media here (by the way, Whitney Houston, despite struggling with substance abuse, was tremendously successful).
Our point is that many people in your life who have not struggled with addiction may look and seem like they have their lives more “together” than you ever will. But appearances are irrelevant. Keep the focus on who you are and what you’ve accomplished. Comparisons, unless serving to inspire and motivate, are a step in the wrong direction.
Bonding with the people who help them accomplish tasks
Sometimes the people who help us the most show the toughest love. In a recovery setting, pay attention to the people who are helping you progress and make an effort to get to know them better. Strong bonds breed success.
Know when to say no
Recovering women need to know that in order to say yes to the right things, they have to say no to the wrong things. This is an essential skill for anyone, but especially for people trying to regain sobriety. They have to know when a request, environment, or activity is too much and could trigger a relapse scenario. This knowing when to say no is a skill that directly ties to the first habit mentioned: visualize the best and plan for the worst.
Breaking out of the comfort zone
So much of addiction thrives in toxic routines or toxic places that have become routine. If someone feels comfortable feeling and aiming low, breaking out of that comfort zone is going to be a real feat. It’s a feat, however, that’s worth the try—especially when it’s substances that create the comfort zone.
Start the day off with a positive mindset
This is probably the most important of the habits mentioned in the Marie Claire article: and it’s more about the woman appreciating her inherent value than simply being positive for the benefit of those around her. Starting the day off with a good mindset might include meditating, going for a morning walk, journaling while having a cup of coffee, setting intentions, repeating affirmations—or whatever feels like a positive dose of “me-time.”
Changing from a negative to a positive mindset is also helped by cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), an integral part of our program here in Iowa. CBT helps transform those fossilized thought paths that lead to poor choices into positivity and good decision-making. Call us today to find out why we’re so successful in supporting successful women within and beyond recovery.