Recovery and the Importance of Good Values
Values are the things you believe are important to you in all aspects of life including; family, work, etc. Values change once we start using substances. The way we behave matches our values. Therefore, if someone is lying, cheating or stealing and not using substances then relapse is surely around the corner. This is why it is so important to have good values and live by them. When we do this life is usually good and we feel satisfied and content. On the other hand if we are not living up to our values it can cause a lot of anxiety, guilt, fear and shame.
These bad feelings increase the likelihood of relapsing. When someone is experiencing these negative feelings it is a good time to revisit his or her values. In addition, it is helpful for the person to think about a time in life when they were the happiest, the most proud, or the most satisfied. This is useful because our values point us in the right direction. For instance, if a person values family yet is working seventy hours a week then they simply cut back those hours. A change like this will reduce the internal struggle, stress and conflict. Also when firm values are in place a person can better answer questions like should I take this promotion or pursue a certain job? He or she can think ahead and ask if this job is good for my physical or emotional health or my family?
Sometimes values change or evolve. This can be a sign of maturity. Often times people measure success by money and status. Then as they get older they might start a family and such status doesn’t seem to be a priority any longer. They work less and begin to make sacrifices for their love ones. Maybe attending a son’s baseball game is now more important than that Saturday business meeting. A recent article discusses how being too busy can affect our values and our sense of balance.
When a person is using or on the verge of using then he or she’s value system is out of whack. They might be putting themselves or their children in danger. Again at this point the person should re-evaluate what is going on in their lives. This will get them back on the right track. The alternative is living in conflict. These will most likely cause the person’s life to not turn out the way they had hoped. So the person should determine their priorities and values and live by them. Then and only then will that person become the one he or she always wanted to be!