If you are just starting out on what is, hopefully, a lifelong journey of recovery, it might seem like tough going. We get it and have been there. Early recovery can be marked by anxiety, depression, regret, and fear about the future. Not to mention the trials of detox and trying to figure out how to get your life in order.
We’ve found that a few guiding principles can be helpful during the early days. Read on for the Dos and Don’ts of early recovery….
Do: Get Connected
This is the first and perhaps most essential piece of advice for maintaining sobriety early on. Whether with the fellow people in your treatment center, or the members of your local 12-step group, finding a support network can make or break your recovery. Building friendships and relationships with those who have weathered the storm and made it to the other side can be a wellspring of hope and connection. They can offer advice on sober living, strategies for navigating new or difficult situations, and guide you through the work required for long-term recovery.
Don’t: Take on Too Much at Once
Although many people feel intense pressure to get their lives together once they sober up, we advise against diving headfirst into everything that needs fixing. One day at a time, slow and steady wins the race. You can’t outrun alcoholism or addiction, and getting life back on track is painstaking work. We suggest people keep things as simple as possible in the early days. This means not creating a frantic schedule, or becoming head-spinningly dizzy in an effort to rebuild things. Do what’s in front of you to do, and the rest will fall into place in time. Sound too good to be true? Trust us, and relax.
Do: The Work
You might think putting down the drink or the drug might be good enough, but most of us find that behind the drinking and using there was some deeper stuff going on. We needed to find and confront the stuff that was creating the need to use in the first place. With the help of a sponsor, the 12-steps, a compassionate counselor, therapist, or all of these, doing the work will most likely give you the relief you need to string together some quality sober time. This isn’t always easy—lets’ face it, our demons aren’t pretty—but can’t be avoided if we want to find happy sobriety.
Don’t: Think You Know it All
Stay humble and keep an open mind. If you knew exactly what to do to make your life better, you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog. Staying open to the wisdom of other people’s experience, especially people who know how to stay sober, can be the key in the door to finding recovery. Our days of pompous hubris didn’t get us very far, and acting like you know everything isn’t a good look anyway. Ask questions, stay honest, and seek out people who seem peaceful and sane. Maintaining an attitude of curiosity will take you far.
Want more guidance on how to navigate the choppy waters of early recovery? Get in touch. The team at Scottsdale Providence is here to offer our experience, strength, and hope, plus evidence-based treatment methods.
We offer PHP, IOP, and Evening IOP. Our therapists work with you to identify your goals and develop a program that fits you. Our comprehensive addiction treatment program includes individual and group therapy, psychiatric care, and 12-Step Facilitation. The clinical foundation of our program is in Interactive Journaling, an innovative experiential modality that puts the client at the center of their change process. Our expert treatment team blends CBT, Motivational Interviewing, DBT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, EMDR, Neurofeedback, and Occupational Therapy to promote long-term recovery. Psychiatric care, case management, discharge planning, acupuncture, yoga, and fitness all make up a truly comprehensive treatment experience.