Addiction is a tough problem to recover from. Millions recover from it each year and enjoy happy and rewarding lives. In order to be successful at it, a few strategies will make your life easier. Try this simple advice to succeed in your recovery.
- use one day at a time thinking
- connect with other sober people
- identify risk factors
- develop more rational thinking to help reinforce abstinence
- improve daily living skills
- have involvement with people who use
- go to places where there is use
- allow anger and resentment to run your life
- try to beat the system
It’s very overwhelming to think about never having another drink ever again for the rest of a your life. It is much easier to think about not drinking today- you’Il only have to get through 24 hours.
If you are sitting with your own thoughts and feelings, there is a good change in the earliest part of recovery that you are only going to think about one thing: drinking and drugging. Try being around other sober people. You can learn from all of their collective experiences about living a one day at a time drug free life.
There is one primary goal in early sobriety: Stay sober. As a result, you need to know what your risk factors are for relapse. Some of these include being angry or having resentments and being around other people who use. Every person has their own risk factors. Identify and avoid yours so that you do not relapse.
One of the major aspects of both addiction and recovery is a person’s thinking. There are 2 types, irrational and rational. You want to be rational because it allows you to think through situations and issues to lead to relapse. Work on changing irrational thinking to rational thinking. Instead of saying, “This is pointless. I’m always going to drink,” change it to “Early recovery is hard, frustrating and scary. Many people have succeeded. I can succeed too.”
If you eat better, exercise, meditate, do yoga, connect with other sober people, pray (if that’s helpful), change irrational thinking to rational thinking, you will be happier, healthier and most importantly, sober. Improve your daily living skills on a day by day basis.
Staying sober is hard enough. You may think that you can be with your old friends and just not use. Do you really want to tempt yourself just to see if you can do this? The best part: you may be successful, once, twice, maybe even 3 times. The worst part: the more times you are around people who use, the greater the chance you will use. Is that what you really want?
You might think that you can go to your regular bar. You might even think that it would be fun to see everyone else get drunk, especially if you are not drinking. However, you might also find how much you miss the fun that everyone else is having when you are not drinking. This is a setup for potential disaster.
Research indicates that most relapses are caused by anger. If you want to stay sober, you need to develop better ways to deal with anger. How about trying to breathe? How about exercising? Try saying the word C-A-L-M (pronounce the L- most of us in the northeast do not). Think about others ways to deal with anger without drinking or drugging.
You have made the decision to not be with your friends who drink or drug, and not go to the places where there is drinking and drugging. Good start. How does this sound? B-O-R-I-N-G?
If you are by yourself, feeling bored and isolated, what do you think you will start to think about? Yes drinking and drugging. If you are around sober people, you will be thinking about sobriety
Most people in early recovery hear the things that you should do and not do, but somehow think they can beat the system. They believe that those suggestions apply to others and they are smarter, stronger or better. Most people who try to beat the system usually don’t succeed. The results are usually disastrous. You can’t beat the system, so instead, work within the system to have the best chances of remaining sober.
Staying sober in early recovery is hard to do. It may feel overwhelming, particularly if you are trying to do it by yourself. If you follow some common sense, it will be much easier. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Millions of people have gotten sober and are staying sober. Although you are new at this, your struggle in not unique. Follow this simple advice and you too can be successful. Change is possible.