There are so many different ways that someone can live their life in early recovery. The reason for this is because everyone has gone through their own path to get where they are at. Think about it like this – you have had your own set of experiences, your own relationships, your own ups and downs and your own life. None of this is exactly the same as what someone else has been through.
For this reason, you want to develop your own early recovery plan. Sure, it is a good idea to attend a detox and treatment program such as the one her at Harmony Healing. However, you may then want to figure out which strategies and techniques help you to best stay sober and in recovery.
Here today, our Harmony Healing team is going to share six strategies to help you stay on track in early recovery. You can choose to use these steps all the way, partially or not at all. You can use a couple of them, one of them or whatever you choose. These are all just ideas that have worked for others who were in early recovery, so you might find they work for you, as well.
Working a 12-Step Program
One of the strategies that has worked for millions of people in early recovery is working a 12-step program. These 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous bring about a change in those who need to overcome an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.
While doing these 12 steps can be a bit of a challenge and you have to work them time and time again, the benefits you get from doing so are amazing. Some of these benefits include:
- Getting proper support
- Making amends
- Healing yourself
- Healing your relationships
- Finding peace in life
- Setting your boundaries
- Learning what your values are in life
- Setting life goals
- Realizing your triggers and underlying causes of addiction
- Help manage your cravings
- Reduce the risk of relapse
As you can see, the benefits of working the 12 steps can truly improve your chances of success in sobriety, recovery and in life generally, as well.
Working with a Sponsor
Another tip that could help you in early recovery is working with a sponsor. What is a sponsor? It is someone who has spiritual and personal experience with the teachings of the Big Book. They have overcome an addiction themselves. Generally, sponsors have been in addiction recovery for at least 1 year, usually longer. They can help you to apply the 12 steps to your life. Many people will meet their sponsor at AA or NA meetings. When you finish your treatment program here at Harmony Healing, we can help you find a list of these meetings in your area.
Having a Strong Support System
It is very important that you surround yourself with people who are positive and healthy for your life, especially in early recovery.
If you spend most of your time with people who tear you down, you are likely going to have feelings of depression, sadness, lack of confidence and other negative thoughts and feelings. This negativity could cause you to relapse.
However, if you are spending your time with positive people who have good intentions and only want what is best for you in your life, this is going to lower your risk of relapsing. It is going to give you the support and encouragement you need to stay in recovery.
When most people live an addictive lifestyle, they spend time around other addicts. They spend time around people who don’t want them to get clean and sober, so it further amplifies their addiction. When you get into early recovery, you will work on letting go of these toxic relationships, especially for the time being. There may be some healing time to do this, but ultimately, by doing so it is going to help your recovery in more ways than you might realize right now.
Everyone who is in recovery is going to have their own triggers. However, there are some common triggers, such as:
- Toxic friendships and family relationships
- Bars and parties
- Stress and anxiety
- Trauma triggers
- Obstacles in life
- Difficulty in relationships
- Loss and grief
While you can’t avoid everyone of your triggers, doing your best to avoid the ones you can is going to be the greatest choice in early recovery. Ultimately, you are going to learn how to better cope with and handle your triggers, so if they do come up, you can prevent a relapse and stay in recovery.
Heading Into a Transitioning Program
If you are starting your early recovery in a professional inpatient treatment program such as the one here at Harmony Healing, that is great. It is going to give you the most comprehensive, intense and supportive treatment for starting your recovery.
With this being said, it is important that you continue to use the tools you learn in rehab when you get into the “real world”. This can be a challenging transition. However, there are transitioning programs such as intensive outpatient treatment and outpatient treatment that can help you before you leave treatment altogether.
If you aren’t attending a transitioning program (or even if you are) it is still a good idea to attend the 12-step meetings noted above. That way, you are getting support from all angles in your early recovery days. The more support you cavn get, the lower the chances there will be of having a relapse.
Treat Mental Health Issues
There are millions of people who have an addiction that also have a mental health disorder. This is called a co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. Unfortunately, some mental health disorders are very difficult to cope with and manage, so people may turn to drug and/or alcohol abuse as a way of self-medicating. There are also people who have an addiction that develop a worsened mental health state.
Whether your addiction or mental health issues began first, in early recovery it is crucial that you are getting the treatment you need to manage these mental health challenges. That way, they aren’t further increasing your cravings for alcohol and/or drugs. In addition, treating these mental health disorders along with the addiction can allow you to build the most successful recovering lifestyle possible.
Get Help in Early Recovery Today
Whether you are just deciding to get sober or you have begun this process already, it is important to know that the early recovery days are often the most difficult. This is when people usually have the most cravings, triggers and difficulties. However, there are numerous strategies (especially these 6 noted above) that can help you in early recovery.
Do you need help getting into recovery or help during your early recovery days? Don’t hesitate to contact us today here at Harmony Healing.