It is important to measure progress in recovery, especially when the path to recovery is difficult. Tracking your progress will help you realize how far you’ve come.
Dieting can be a huge self-esteem builder, especially when you see the pounds come off fast. Every week, the scale reads a new number, and every week, another pound is tallied. Successful weight loss is literally measured and weighed; it can be tracked in both inches and weight. Recovering from a mental illness or addiction is a lifelong process that a scale cannot track, but how do you measure something so complex? Is it even possible? Seeing results is something we all want, and here are five ways you can measure your progress during recovery.
Count the Days to Measure Progress in Recovery
Just as a dieter tracks the pounds lost, you can track the days to measure progress in recovery. Physically touching and visually seeing progress makes it feel real. One way you can do this is with a bag of pennies. Every day you succeed, add a penny to a jar. As the days go by, the pile will grow higher and larger. You can look to that jar whenever you feel weak, and you can see how far you have come.
Track Your Feelings
This is where you will experience the most change, but it starts out very subtle. Obese people can physically see the weight come off, but there is more to their progress than just a number. Their emotions, self-esteem, mental health, and daily happiness will all begin to positively change. The same happens to someone who starts on the recovery process.
When I look back at older journal entries during my early stages of addiction recovery, it is like reading the story of a stranger; that girl is not the woman I am today. Writing down your emotions is an excellent way measure progress in recovery and to remember the past so you can create a better future. It will be painful to read the pain you once experienced, but it will help you appreciate the growth you have accomplished during recovery.
List Your Accomplishments
These can be big or little things. You don’t have to travel around the world, get a doctorate, or run a marathon to experience success. An accomplishment for you might be getting out of bed, applying for a job, going on a walk, calling a parent, signing up for a class, exercising, showing up for work on time, or doing an act of service. It doesn’t matter what is on the list, as long as you write it on there. Slowly, the list will grow, and you will see the things you are capable of doing.
Take a Picture of the Activities You Can Now Do
When people lose weight, they might physically look thinner, but they will also get to experience activities that they couldn’t do before. This applies to a mental and addiction recovery process, too. Maybe you struggle getting out of the house, but when you do, you get to see, taste, feel, and live in ways you never could before. When I was in the deepest part of my addiction, I threw my money and my time at drugs. When I stopped spending every penny and minute on my next high, I got to go to the movies, go for runs, take yoga classes, and live life. Taking a picture will be a reminder of what you can do when you are recovering.
Write Down Behavioral Changes
As you grow stronger mentally and emotionally, your behavior and even personality will begin to change. You will notice this growth over time, and tracking it is important. I use to lose my temper all the time, and then guilt would quickly set in. I feel in control of myself and my emotions now. Yes, I am still human; I lose my temper, cry, and get upset, but it happens less frequently and on a calmer level. Writing down your behavior once a month or every few months is an excellent way to track growth over many years. You can be successful, and as the days and years go by, you will be see just how successful that is.
The only way to measure progress in recovery is to begin the recovery journey. Call Morningside Recovery today at 855-631-2135 to learn more about our addiction therapy services, mental health rehab, and drug addiction treatment programs.