How to Avoid Addiction Recover Burnout


When you set your mind to something that is genuinely difficult, there is always the risk of burnout. This basically refers to any instance where you invest so heavily in any given process or activity that you eventually reach breaking point. Even if you’ve made all the positive progress in the world, you can still hit the proverbial brick wall and find everything coming to a crashing halt.

One of the problems with addiction recovery is that far too many people believe that it is a simple subject. You take yourself into your choice of the residential rehab centres, you do as you’re told, complete a course of treatment and you’re done.  In reality, not only are all forms of rehab considerably more difficult than most realise, but completion of a course of rehab is by no means where the process comes to an end.  If anything, it’s only the beginning.

After rehab comes the incredibly challenging process of once again rebuilding your life and getting back to some kind of normality. You have an incredible amount invested in the recovery process, both emotionally and financially.  There is a good chance that many of the most important relationships in your life will have been strained or even severed, you may be finding it difficult to make ends meet, your employment prospects may have taken a nosedive and you may be physically exhausted in the extreme. You’re doing everything you can to walk the line, pay you find yourself in a situation where you genuinely begin to wonder whether you will ever get there.

All of the above can happen at any time during the recovery process, though in many instances happens quite far down the line. When you’ve made no progress at all, even the smallest steps can seem significant. But when you’ve made quite a lot of progress and then things suddenly appear to stall, you may end up with something of a physical and emotional overload that largely shuts down your entire body and mind. This is what is often referred to by professionals as recovery burnout.

When it happens, the solution is technically simple – you pick yourself up and carry on. In reality, this can represent one of the most difficult challenges of the entire recovery process and is not to be underestimated. No matter how severe the case of burnout is, there are always ways and means by which it can be overcome with professional support.  But just as is the case with so many issues, it’s better to avoid recovery burnout in the first place.

Once again, avoiding recovery burnout can be easier said than done, but it is definitely a possibility for most. While all cases will of course be inherently different, there are certain universally applicable guidelines to follow, in order to minimise its likelihood of occurring.

Examples include:

  • Take it slow. While it can be tempting to hurry things along for obvious reasons, attempting to rush the process is a sure-fire way of making it more difficult and perhaps even more time consuming than it needs to be.  The recovery process tends to work better when you focus fully on one small step at a time and accept the fact that it isn’t going to be a quick fix.  You’ll always want to succeed as quickly as possible, but you will have to learn to take your time.
  • Stick with the process. Many of those who make solid progress during regimented treatment programs or professional rehab develop a strong sense of confidence. To such an extent that they then believe they can step away from the process and take control of things themselves. While there are isolated instances where this kind of approach can be successful, more often than not it leads to either failure or burnout.
  • Build on your successes. Along with constantly striving to achieve the next important step in the process, it is critically important to continually remind yourself of the positive progress you have made so far. It can be difficult to look back on past achievements with a sense of pride, when it now doesn’t feel as if you are making any progress at all. Nevertheless, it is of crucial importance as a means by which to avoid burnout.
  • Let go. Last up, there will be times when you find yourself overcome by emotional tiredness or physical fatigue and feel as if you are going to have a breakdown. Contrary to common belief, the best thing to do is not to let these kinds of feelings build up inside you and simply bury them away. Instead, you occasionally need to let go, let it all out and allow your emotions to come to the surface – storing them away only intensifies the likelihood of burnout.