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The Importance of Gratitude in Long-Term Recovery

Addiction recovery is not a race, but a marathon, and one of the keys to recovery is learning the importance of gratitude. In active addiction, there’s a metaphorical dark cloud that seems to follow you wherever you go. In early recovery, things can be extremely difficult as you begin to rebuild your life, but this is when it’s the most important time to practice gratitude. Although you may think you don’t have much to be grateful for until you achieve more and get more things back in your life, your gratitude can go a long way in early recovery, and this practice will help you for the rest of your life. 

Practicing Gratitude in Early Recovery

When you first go to a detox or addiction treatment facility, you may be filled with gratitude and hope. For the first time in a long time, you may see the light at the end of the tunnel and realize that you can stay sober and live an amazing life. Some refer to this time in early recovery as being on the “pink cloud”, but unfortunately, the pink cloud goes away after a little while. During some point in treatment or soon after, you may start to feel the impact of returning back to your life. 

In early recovery, there’s a lot to take care of. You may have family and friends who still don’t trust you, and it can take some time to rebuild your relationship. There are some people who have a spouse and children, and those relationships may need work too. Many people lose their job in active addiction, so after going to a New Jersey addiction treatment facility, you may have to look for work. When these things don’t come to you quickly, it can be easy to ask yourself, “Why do I even bother?”, but this mindset can lead to a relapse. 

In early recovery, it’s important to be grateful for the little things, no matter how trivial they may seem. Yes, it’s true that rebuilding your relationships and your life will take time and patience, but there’s a lot to be grateful for. Anyone who has been to a detox knows how painful the symptoms of withdrawal are, so the first thing to be grateful for is not having to deal with those symptoms anymore. It’s also extremely beneficial to be grateful for each day sober as well as the support group who helps you through each day. 

Hedonic Adaptation

As you continue to stay clean and sober, things start getting better. Your family and friends start to trust you again. Your spouse and children see that the old you has returned. You might have even found a great new job that pays you well. But now you’re sitting there wondering why you’re not as happy as you should be. 

This issue isn’t just something people in recovery deal with after going to an addiction treatment center. What’s happening is called hedonic adaptation, and it’s simply part of the human condition. We evolve to want more so we don’t settle and get complacent, and this is what helped us throughout evolution. The problem is, we can start questioning everything we have and not feel satisfied or fulfilled in our lives. 

Again, the solution to this issue is gratitude. It’s important to be grateful for what you have and not put so much weight on the things that you don’t have. The more you practice gratitude, the less you have to deal with hedonic adaptation. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to achieve bigger goals and progress in your life, but it’s important to recognize all of the amazing things you have in your life. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, allow Enlightened Solutions detox to help. We’re a New Jersey detox, and we serve areas like Gloucester County, Burlington County and far beyond. We also have a great aftercare program to help you continue staying grateful long after the treatment process is over. For more information, give us a call today at 833-233-7336.

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