Addiction recovery requires a lot of work. No matter if you were addicted to alcohol or heroin, you need to make your recovery a priority, because that it is the only way to achieve success. It will require lifestyle changes and modifications that will take some getting used to, but after a while, they will become your new normal. Trust us when we say that putting sobriety first is worth it and that you will gain a tremendous amount of benefits from your new sober lifestyle.
The Beginnings of Addiction Recovery
Your addiction recovery is kind of like building a house. In order for it to be strong, you need to build a solid foundation for the rest of the house to be built upon. Similarly, you need to start your recovery off right instead of just winging it, in order to set yourself up for success.
Starting your recovery off right means going to a treatment center for drugs and/or alcohol. If you think this is a waste of time, or not worth putting your life on hold for, think again. It is completely worth it to set 4-6 weeks aside to focus completely on your health and sobriety. It might even save your life. Full-time treatment is important because it completely immerses you in healing and it gives you the opportunity to learn things about yourself and your addiction. If you truly want to get – and stay – sober, full-time drug and alcohol treatment is the way to go.
Life After Rehab
Once you leave rehab, this is when the challenge really happens. In rehab, you are given the tools you need to live a sober life successfully, and it is now up to you to use those tools. From the moment you want out of the doors of your treatment center, you are leaving behind 24/7 care and support, and you need to be strong enough to carry your sobriety along on your own.
There are certain things you can do to put your addiction recovery first during this challenging time. Doing them will help you to live a sober life and minimize the risk of relapse. These things may include:
- Mentally put your addiction recovery first. Every morning and night, tell yourself that your sobriety is number one. Create a mantra if you need to in order to drill it into your mind. This way, it will always be at the forefront of your mind, and you’ll build your other actions around it.
- Continue your care. Rehab doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) stop cold turkey. Before you leave your addiction treatment center, make sure you have follow-up care set up so that you have a solid support system in place as you re-integrate back into the “real world” This can be modified as necessary, depending on the level of care you feel that you need. Some people may require outpatient rehab, while for others a weekly therapy appointment may be enough.
- Don’t enter a romantic relationship for one solid year after your sober date. Sure, love and romance are great, but it distracts you from what is important at the beginning of addiction recovery – your sobriety! Also, love can be tough and volatile. You don’t want something like an argument or breakup causing you to relapse. It just isn’t worth it.
- Surround yourself with the right people. If you go right back to hanging out with old friends who use, your chances of relapse are much higher. Instead, surround yourself with people who you aspire to be like. Ideally, people with over a year of sober time who can help to guide you and give you solid advice.
- Engage in good behaviors. Think about your overall lifestyle. Keep things clean and neat, including your personal possessions, your living space, your car, and yourself. Be honest. Get a job or go back to school and be responsible for your money. The more you have your stuff together, the more you will be rewarded and bigger and better things will keep coming your way.
Addiction recovery is tough, but it is possible as long as you always make it your first priority. Take things day by day and keep your goal where you can see it via constant reminders. This way, you will never stray far off of course!