Three (simple, not easy) Course Corrections on My Recovery Journey

Inspiration for Your Journey

For me, moving forward in recovery from addiction requires occasional course correcting. Sometimes a slight pivot is all that's needed. But every once in a while, it's more like a leap—at least it feels that way. In all circumstances, knowing I'm not traveling this road alone makes all the difference.

Over the years, I've discovered three "course corrections" that help me move forward in recovery.

Keep things in perspective. When I think about my recovery in terms of having a chronic illness and needing to change my whole life now and forever, my mind starts to race and my heart starts to pound. That's when I remind myself that all I need to do is the next right thing. And I can do that. One deep breath at a time.

Change things up. I've learned that by making a small adjustment in my daily recovery practices, I can go from stuck-in-a-rut mode to truly inspired. The change can be as simple as finding a new meditation book or starting my day with a 10-minute stretch instead of immediately turning on the morning news. Little changes like these can really feed the soul.

Do something that's a little daunting. I'm more of an introvert than an extrovert, and that can keep me from putting myself into new social situations. Whether it's joining a new volunteer group, taking a class, or sharing more deeply at a meeting, I've realized how important it is to my journey to keep putting myself out there—especially when it pushes me outside my comfort zone.

Course correcting, for me, is about recognizing my recovery roadblocks and trying to stay open to different ways of doing things. Simple, but not easy. I understand there will always be new territory to encounter on my journey, and that it's up to me to keep "walking the walk" to stay on course. But it sure helps to know I can count on fellow travelers to walk that road with me.

Nell HurleyNell Hurley is the executive director of national alumni relations for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation.
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