You’ve gone to detox, completed rehab and your world has changed in real time. Everything you did and was before is now different. You may find yourself questioning if you’ll ever have fun again. It might even be desirable to hide under a rock and away from the world for a bit. The sober, new you is raw and delicate! You may think that everyone is whispering about you. Without drugs or alcohol, life just got up-close and personal. Early recovery is a time of change.
Your chances of a building a sober foundation depend on truthfulness, willingness, and your capacity to be teachable. In treatment, most can talk a good game, but now your home and everyone around you is hoping that you are the real deal!
Below are five top tips that will greatly boost your chances of remaining clean (and become happy).
Join a 12-Step Support Group
A 12-step support group is a community of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope, with each other. Here, you will be greeted with open arms and a lot of hugs. The 12-steppers have walked in your shoes and can provide great insight to recovery from every addiction on the planet. They can offer the relief you once found in drugs. Revealing your story with someone who’s been there, supports healing and responsibility.
In treatment, many people let down their guard and appear more open when they are not feeling well. However, when you are back to health and your fighting spirit is back it may create an obstacle. To be successful in your newly sober world, you must cease doing things your way. Remember, your best thinking got you into trouble in the first place. Instead, surrendering your self-will can help you heal and recover more rapidly. Now is the time to let someone else steer the ship for a while.
Keep it in the Present
Early days in recovery can feel like an eternity and creates an opportunity for all kinds of future projections. You didn’t get into addiction overnight, so don’t expect all your problems to go away immediately. Rather than trying to get through the entire day, break it down into smaller increments. The struggle isn’t in your day – it’s in your head. With practice the technique is simple. Pick up the phone to a sober support or go to a meeting. Whatever you’re feeling, ask for advice. Keep breathing and remind yourself why you chose recovery. Then take it one minute, one hour, or one day, at a time. The only thing you need to do is the next right thing!
Exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. It boosts your self-esteem and promotes sleep. It also boosts energy, supports a healthy appetite, and releases tension. Just thirty minutes of physical activity a day will help battle fatigue, depression and decrease anxiety. Post-acute withdrawal can go on for the first few months of your recovery. You may feel flat until your dopamine receptors are properly restored. Exercise may bridge the gap faster and (besides) you’ll feel better.
When you help others, you concentrate on someone else and the things they are going through. And suddenly you stop thinking about the things on your mind that create stress. Helping another person creates emotions of connection, belonging, and value. Helping another person will do wonders for your self-worth and make you feel good. It’s that feeling that will inspire you to stay sober one day at a time!
Recovery is a gift. It requires honesty, tough work, and dedication. But the freedom and joy you experience, far overshadow the work that’s involved. Your body and mind will feel alive in a new way. You’ll be able to work through issues without having to self-medicate. All your relationships will improve, and you will feel good about yourself.
Simple Path Recovery is an oceanside, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as a Top Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.