The battle with addiction is something that a person in recovery fights every day. The battle is the hardest in the early days of sobriety. They may actually be the hardest days. The individual in recovery must accept that this is going to be a challenging process. However, many in recovery have made it through the first few months of out a treatment facility. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that addiction is treatable. If you keep some key points in mind and listen to the advice of those who have gone through this process, it might be slightly easier.
Triggers are going to be all around in the first year of your sobriety. You should be aware of your triggers. Identifying your triggers is an important step to helping you manage them. There may be some obvious triggers like having a disagreement with someone means to you or sudden death. There may be other, less obvious, triggers like boredom or having access to a sum of money. Once you are aware of your triggers, you can make a plan to remove them from your life. There may be some triggers that you cannot remove, so you need a different plan for dealing with them. Once you have your plan, practice it. When you see or come into contact with a trigger, what do you do? Have someone that you can contact no matter what at any time to talk you through it, or come get you. The more you practice your plan, the better able you will be to follow it when faced with a trigger.
Do not make any major changes or life decisions in your first year of sobriety. You should not do things that are guided by emotions. You should avoid things like starting or ending a relationship, or moving or even finding a new job. You may need to do some of these things because your addiction caused you to lose your job or your home. If you do not have to do them, wait a full year before taking on any major life changes. You may not be stable enough to handle all the emotions that go along with these kinds of changes.
Pay attention to how you are feeling. In recovery, you should have learned emotions that can put you in a high-risk environment. These emotions are hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness. Avoiding situations that cause you to feel any of this should be a top priority to you. Take care of yourself and make sure you are eating well and getting enough sleep. These items are key to avoiding hunger and fatigue. Put some structure into your day and give yourself a schedule to follow. This may help you avoid unexpected emotions and triggers.
You can only focus on one day at a time. Remember that each new day is a new day with a fresh start. If something did not go well yesterday, then focus on being better today. You do not even have to think about an entire day. Only think about the next right decision. Just think about things one decision at a time. What should I do in the next 30 minutes? What is the next thing that has to happen? You do not need to think about or making any decisions beyond the next one.
You should be your focus right now. You need to take care of yourself. You should work on building healthy relationships. You may have caused some damage to relationships before you went into recovery. Now is the time to make amends and say you are sorry. Work on building those relationships that are healthy and walking away from the ones that are not. Focus on a healthy diet and exercise program so you can channel your energy into things that are beneficial to you.
Remember, you may have a slip-up or a relapse. That does not mean you cannot continue recovery. It does not mean that you have failed. It is a bump in the road and you need to get back on the sobriety horse and work towards being a better you. Warner Park Recovery Center is here to help you no matter what you need. If you have had a relapse, or need some counseling, or even full inpatient treatment, contact us today.