8 Tips for Your First Year of Recovery
Congratulations on getting through the detox and moving into the recovery phase. This part of the process is about healing and relearning how to go about daily life as you distance yourself from the addiction that crippled you before. The process can be difficult and the first year is the hardest but after that, it’s smoother sailing and better days. The following tips will help you get there.
1. Talk to People
The number one thing that will help you through the first year is people. Friends, family, support group peers, even work colleagues. Stay connected to the humans around you. Call people just to call them. Go to public places and participate when something’s going on. Being alone is a huge trigger for relapse.
2. Attend Meetings
Support groups and addition meetings may seem cliché but that’s because it works. It’s easy to feel like you’re battling this thing alone, especially when the people around you have never even tried the drug you’re recovering from. But at meetings you meet others who know what you’re going through and are dealing with it too. The support will keep you grounded and focused on sobriety.
Chemical addictions can take a toll on the body and often a good, steady regiment of quality exercise and recreational sports will help you feel better, fight cravings, overcome depression, and get excited about a new approach to life.
4. Help Others
It’s said that we learn best by teaching. Go out and volunteer in your community, whether it be at a school or senior center, the food bank, or a drug rehabilitation center. Share your life’s journey and support others who need a little help. The good feelings of altruism will help get you through the difficult days and inspire you forward.
Prayer and meditation are long-standing traditions in recovery because it quiets the chattering mind and connects you to something outside yourself. Your monkey mind and chemical body are the places where addiction really lives. A practice of deep meditation or spiritual connection help to get you outside of those places.
6. Stay Busy
Find a hobby, develop a new career, or begin a course of study. Staying active and committed to something will keep your mind away from the old habits and addiction. Plus it gives you a sense of confidence and completion when you see something you have accomplished on your own.
7. Find a Mentor
No one does it alone. Finding a mentor who can coach you through the process of sobriety and recovery is important if this is a difficult journey for you.
8. Don’t Use – No Matter What!
It’s obvious, sure, but it’s the most important part of the first year. Some days will be worse than others. You’ll have deep depression or anxiety and no one is picking up the phone and you’re sitting there going nuts. Whatever you do, don’t pick it up! Just don’t. Find one of the previous 7 tips and stay focused. The sweet relief of relapse is a pitiful compensation for the massive regret of falling back into the same destructive cycle.
Stay strong and focused on your own success. Build a better life for yourself. You can do it.