Do you remember when you were struggling with addiction and it seemed there was no inner connection. There was very little inner trust. It seemed your whole life was about drinking or using. And when you weren’t drinking or using, you were thinking about drinking or using.  Commonly, addiction comes with a heavy fascination with the drug of choice. If you’re not using, you’re likely daydreaming about it. The fascination is part of the illness of addiction. It seems your entire life is devoted to the drug or to drinking.

What’s great about recovery is that you can make your entire life now about you!  About your well being, your happiness, your future. Yes, you can daydream! Yes, you can fantasize about how wonderful your life is and how it’s only going to get better.

If you’re teetering on the edge of this (certainly it takes some time to feel confident in recovery), you might consider making a trust agreement with yourself. In the beginning, for many recovering addicts, it’s hard to believe that your life is worth saving.  It’s hard to make your happiness a priority. This is especially true if when you were a child your happiness was the last thing on everyone’s mind. When others treated you poorly earlier in life, you get the message that your life doesn’t have value.

For instance, if you had an abusive childhood or if you experienced trauma or if lost a parent early in life, these experiences might have sent the message that your life isn’t meaningful to others. And when this message is received, or internalized, you might begin to treat yourself that way.

To get out of treating yourself this way, try making a trust agreement with yourself – an agreement where you commit to treating yourself with respect and love.  It’s called a trust agreement because you’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to trust that the new choices you make are going to bring about a new life. You’ve got to believe that by no longer turning to drugs and alcohol you can still get your needs met.

The most important thing about this trust agreement is that you’ve got to trust that your life is worth saving! And you do that one choice at a time. For instance, instead of turning to drugs or alcohol when those heavy feelings show up you can turn to one of the choices below:

–Take a walk.
–Exercise.
–Write in a journal.
–Vent your feelings in a safe place – with a trusted friend or therapist.
–When you notice a negative thought, change it to a positive one.
–Stay aware of any negative thoughts you say to yourself and change them.
–Go to a yoga class.
–Breathe. There are many breathing techniques to learn that you can implement in times of emotional challenge.
–Go for a bike ride.
–Sit on the beach and think about the best way to respond to the situation you’re bothered with.
–Learn other relaxation techniques to keep yourself more calm throughout the day.
–Tell yourself not to take it personally.
–Coach yourself to make a healthy choice instead of reacting to your feelings.

Your trust agreement should include what you’re going to do when life gets stressful, including items such as those provided above. It should also include the vision of your future life so that you know why you’re making these new choices. Lastly, it should include a list of what you’re willing to let go of. In order to be someone new you’ve got to let go of who you are today. For instance, perhaps you need to let go of negativity, judgment of yourself and others, and a victim mindset.

To boost your recovery make a trust agreement with yourself. Each time you make a new choice, you’re building trust with yourself. You are making more and more real the possibility of becoming and staying sober.  You’re solidifying a future self – a you that is happy and healthy.

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