Changing People, Places, and Things in Recovery

Patrick
  • By Patrick

    Everyone in recovery has heard that they need to focus on changing people, places, and things in order to change their life and embrace recovery.  The idea is that many of us have some bad habits and some bad hangouts that are left over from our days of drinking and drugging that we need to focus on changing so that we do not run into triggers that will cause us to relapse.

    For example, if you used to get drunk every day down at the corner bar, then it is not a good idea to go in there every day and sip on a Coke.  This would be one of the “places” that you need to change in recovery.  Duh.

    Of course it can get a little tricky with changing the people in our life because in some cases they might be family or close friends that we cannot really “get away from” all that easily.  If those people are truly toxic to our recovery then we at least have to do our best to minimize contact with them.

    But what if we want to make these sorts of changes in a big way to really give our recovery a boost?  There are some shortcuts to doing so but they are not necessarily easy to do.  For example, one strategy you can try is to go into a long term treatment program.  Living in long term treatment is a shortcut to changing all of the people, places, and things in your life all in one fell swoop.  If you check into long term rehab and plan to live there for several months then this will change your life on a drastic scale.  Most people who are caught up in addiction need to make massive changes in order to recover and long term rehab is a way to help facilitate these massive changes.

    Of course there is more to it than taking this simple shortcut and if you study the success rates of long term treatment then you will see that this shortcut is not necessarily easy.  Many addicts relapse while living in long term rehab or shortly after transitioning out of the facility, so it is not necessarily a perfect shortcut to massive change, and ultimately it is not a shortcut to success in recovery.  The only way to change all of those people, places, and things and really make massive changes in your life that actually stick is to take massive action every single day.

    Understand this: you can make a huge change (such as moving into long term rehab) and then fail to follow that up with massive action every day and end up relapsing.

    The real key to success: take massive action every single day.  Period.

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