If you’re struggling with an addiction, depression, anxiety, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it might be difficult for you to maintain good grades, get a job, or having satisfying friendships.
But, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean that those life goals are out of the question. It only means that you might need some support. And with the right amount of support along with your commitment to yourself to stay healthy, you can have the things in life that you want.
A commitment is a promise to yourself. It’s a promise to your recovery and to your family and friends. It might even be a promise to your therapist, your drug counselor, or your sponsor. Commitment means doing what you say you’re going to do no matter how you’re feeling. It means that you’ll keep moving towards your goal of health and success regardless of how you’re feeling one day. For instance, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and you’re having thoughts like, “I can’t do this,” or “There’s too much on my plate; I can’t handle this” then it’s easy to get derailed and let everything go. Or you might feel hopeless or loss, which is common with depression.
However, no matter how you’re feeling your commitment to yourself can be your guiding light. It can be your north star so that you always know which direction to head in regardless of how you’re feeling. This is especially true when it’s difficult to find the reason why you’re attending therapy or taking medication or staying sober. Sometimes, you might be struggling with all your triggers, all your personal challenges that the only thing in site that sounds rewarding is to stay at home alone.
If you’re trying to heal from depression, your commitment can keep you going. Each day, little by little, as you make your choices for recovery, your commitment can pull you out of your depression. If you’re trying to heal from anxiety, your commitment can be a source of peace. It can be a reminder that you’re going to find calm on the other side of the storm. If you’re trying to heal from an addiction, in those moments of craving and desire, you can remember your recovery and your commitment to it. At first, it might be difficult. However, each time you choose recovery over a craving, your commitment gets stronger and stronger.
Here are some suggestions to strengthen your commitment to sobriety and to yourself:
- Commit to goals that are yours and not someone else’s.
- Forget about what you didn’t do yesterday. Even if you failed many times, it’s only right now that matters most. Realign with your commitment and begin.
- Make your goals for mental health concrete and simple.
- Be very honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do.
- When it gets emotionally painful, return to your commitment.
- Each day, commit to one action that will move your life forward. It can be anything at all. Anything that will help you feel good, safe, and happy will work. Keeping your commitment to this one action can help you keep your commitment to your overall recovery. For instance, let’s say you commit to taking a long walk every morning, You know that it’s a good way to start your day and it gives you time to relax and breathe before you have to face the day (and any possible triggers). Taking those long walks can help you with your overall recovery as well as your general commitment to stay sober. Keeping your commitments is a way of respecting, honoring, and caring for yourself.
- Address the various factors in your life that may be contributing to your mental illness.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you think you’ve failed. This only makes it less likely that you’ll accomplish it the next time you try.
Making a commitment to your mental health can be the one thread that connects you to where you want to be. Each time you feel stuck, lost, or confused, pull on that thread and let it lead you back to your commitment.