The Best Steps to Take in Early Recovery to Protect Your Sobriety
Early recovery is a volatile time that goes one of two ways. You either stay sober, or you relapse. Clearly, the goal is to stay sober and gain as much time as possible. While recovery truly is a day at a time, the more days you get – the stronger you’ll be.
There are things you can do in early recovery to protect your sobriety. A lot of it has to do with planning ahead of time and making sobriety your priority. You don’t want to beat yourself up over the past and how you ended up in rehab. At the same time, you want to keep it in mind. It’s called playing the reel through – so that whenever you feel like picking up a drink or a drug, you remember exactly where you ended up last time you made that decision.
Early Recovery Requires Focus and Dedication
Your recovery needs to be your number one priority, especially just after you complete treatment. It is essential that you spend time on your recovery each day, in a way that works for you. Working on your recovery can include:
- Going to a daily 12-step meeting
- Seeing a therapist
- Speaking to a sponsor or sober support
- Engaging in a sober activity you enjoy
- Healthy eating
Planning for your recovery has to start while you are in treatment. A large part of treatment is identifying what caused your addiction in the first place. It’s advisable you develop an alternative coping mechanisms so you your downfalls don’t get the best of you.
What You Can Do For Solid Sobriety
There are a few things you should do to keep your sobriety intact. Remember, recovery is a very individual experience, and just like addiction, it pulls from your own personal experience. It’s important to identify what will work best for you. Here are some tried and true ways to protect your sobriety, and live a healthy and successful life.
- Have a plan. Start planning for your long-term recovery as soon as you can. While in rehab, you will spend a lot of time in therapy, determining the causes of your addiction. Work with your therapist to identify these aspects of your life and make a plan of how to approach it differently. For all the instances during which you used to reach for drugs or a drink, there is an alternative way to cope. Have those coping skills ready to use.
- Use all of your resources while in treatment. While in treatment, it is easy for clients to get lazy. Some of them skip group sessions and simply don’t take it seriously. You are in rehab to work on yourself in great detail, so make the most of it. Most people don’t get this kind of opportunity. The various groups you attend in treatment are all meant to help you learn more about yourself, addiction, and to help you alter your life for the better. Soak it up and absorb all you can from the professionals while you are there.
- Keep mood disorders in check. Mental disorders like anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder affects more than half of people who deal with drug and alcohol addiction. Identifying these and treating them is an essential part of addiction treatment. People with mood disorders often turn to drugs and alcohol as a way to self-medicate. They don’t know that with the right treatment, they can ease these symptoms and feel much less of a need to get drunk or high.
- Identify triggers. Knowing the who, what, and when that caused you to drink or do drugs in the past is a huge part of preventing relapse in the future. Know what these things are, and avoid them as much as you can. This may require cutting ties with people who were once close to you, or pick up and moving to a new place. It’s worth doing, and part of having a fresh start after rehab.
- Don’t quit rehab cold turkey. Having an aftercare plan for treatment is a great way to solidify your sobriety. Going back into the real world after treatment is shocking, so doing so gradually will help you to make a smooth adjustment. There are plenty of options available for less-intensive addiction treatment to choose from. Begin planning your long-term care while in treatment.
- Treat yourself well. In treatment and recovery, it’s all about you. Do things that benefit you. Focus on being your best self. It’s ok to be selfish because the best thing you can do for your well-being is stay sober. After that, everything else will fall into place, including jobs, relationships, and other life goals.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. It is important to recognize how far you have come from your addiction days. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they seem. Acknowledge the bigger things like getting a new job, your own car, or a new apartment. Don’t overlook the importance of small accomplishments. Every positive moment you have in sobriety is worth acknowledging.