Recovery is not an event; it’s a process. No one promised it would be easy and nothing is guaranteed. It’s something you will always have to work on. There are things you can do to help set yourself up for success, though, and it starts in early recovery.
Take it slowly – Concentrate on one thing at a time. Having a sense of structure in your day and your environment is important, so you don’t feel overwhelmed with everything being thrown at you.
Make your “90 in 90” – That is 90 meetings in 90 days. This will keep you accountable to a group of people who are also sober and continue to work on their own sobriety.
Find a sponsor – As soon as possible, find a sponsor who can guide you through the 12 steps of your chosen fellowship, whether that be Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. Your sponsor is someone with whom you will develop a relationship – someone you can call on in a time of crisis. Chances are your sponsor will have been through the same stressors that you are facing and can give you suggestions on how to deal with the hurdles in your path.
Set long-term goals and a daily schedule – While you shouldn’t dwell on the future too much, you should make a list of long-term goals. Break those goals into daily activities and set a schedule for yourself. It can be as simple as making sure you go to the gym that day, go to a meeting, or out looking for a job. By the time the day is over, you will feel as though you’ve achieved something, as opposed to just sitting around the house. By starting routines and schedules in early recovery, you are setting yourself up for a structured life and good habits in the future.
Surround yourself with positive people – Remember that “you are only as good as the company you keep.” Be aware of the people you let into your life. Are they lifting you up or weighing you down? You wouldn’t go swimming with concrete shoes on, so why let negative people in your life?
Be open to suggestion from others – This is especially true if the ones who are giving you advice have what you want – long-term sobriety. They have been in your shoes and most likely they will have a positive input on any situation that may arise.
We hope you find these suggestions for navigating early sobriety helpful. If you are entering a sober living home or recovery residence, you will find a lot of support from your fellow housemates. When you are surrounded by people who have the same goals and challenges as you do, it makes the days and weeks so much easier and more enjoyable.
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