• Laura Demers

How Core Values Can Guide Recovery

Our most important values—our core values—serve as a compass, driving our intentions and behaviors. When you are in the throes of addiction, that compass is thrown away. Addiction steals your values with no regard for your family, relationships, reputation, career, health, or integrity.

Related Blog: Designing a Life of Value

As addiction develops, your core values become progressively less important as your drug of choice becomes progressively more important. Ultimately, the only thing you value is getting high.

Addiction doesn't care that you are neglecting your kids. Addiction doesn't care that you are not showing up at work. Addiction doesn't care that you have been awake for three days and haven't eaten in even longer. Addiction doesn't care that you steal from your family or sell your body. Addiction doesn't care about your values.

When the high wears off, you are left feeling disappointed in yourself, dissatisfied with your own behaviors, empty from a lack of meaning or purpose. Throwing away your own value system leaves you drowning in a sea of anger, guilt, and shame, creating further need to search for substances to numb the pain.

It is a vicious cycle. But if you can find a way to break free from this cycle, the same values you throw away in addiction can guide your way through recovery.

Your core values help you determine your “why” in the recovery process. Why are you finally fed up with addiction? Why are you ready to recover? Why are you willing to do the work required for recovery? Your answer is based on your core values. Maybe you recognize your deteriorating health, maybe you have lost your children, maybe you are at risk of losing your job.

You may have compromised your values during addiction, but those same values can help guide your recovery. Start by thinking about what you value most in life and make a plan for behavior changes that will help you recover these values. By focusing on your purpose, you are preparing to face struggles with intentional behaviors instead of a relapse.

To translate your values into your intended changes in behavior, try sketching a chart like the one below to help clarify your goals.

Value Intentions Chart: Make It Happen!

Related Blog: Designing a Life of Value

To foster intentional behaviors and reclaim your value system during recovery, do something every single day that supports your core values. And focus on just one day at a time!

Written by Laura B. Demers, © 2020 Reclamation Sisters


#addiction #recovery #corerecovery #values #valuesguiderecovery

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© 2020 Reclamation Sisters