Early recovery is a time for self-exploration, growth, and discovery – a beautiful and often frightening time when you truly get to figure out who you are and what makes you tick. While beginning the journey towards freedom from the devastation and oppression of drugs and alcohol is exciting and liberating, it can also be extremely difficult. You will be coming into contact with feelings that you have been stifling and suppressing for years, and will undeniably need some solid emotional and mental support during this time. Here is a list of 3 early recovery musts – things that will, without question, be essential to maintainable and meaningful sobriety.
3 Early Recovery Musts
- Sober Support Systems
One of the most important aspects in maintaining sobriety is establishing a solid and reliable sober support system early on. The best way to go about doing this is to attend as many meetings as possible, showing up 15 minutes beforehand and staying late in order to introduce yourself to other program members and exchanging as many phone numbers as possible. If you are living in a halfway house or sober living facility, you will have a sober support system at your disposal already – an added bonus. Your sponsor will also be a key player in your support circle, so be sure to get one as quickly as you can.
- Knowing and Avoiding Personal Triggers
A trigger is a person, place, or situation that makes you feel like you want to use. Many recovering addicts and alcoholics have similar triggers – the loss of a loved one, a major change, and specific holidays in example. However, it is important that you understand and recognize what triggers you individually, and you avoid your triggers in order to prevent relapse. A specific group of old friends may be a trigger for one individual, while the sight of a martini may greatly trigger another. It is important not to test your own boundaries – if you feel unsure about something, stay away.
- Learning to Love Yourself
If you don’t learn to love and appreciate yourself early on, the likelihood that your sobriety will be fulfilled and lasting is relatively slim. It is crucial that you learn to place yourself first – if your own spiritual, mental, and physical wellbeing is not intact, everything else in your life will surely fall part eventually. Reward yourself with personally satisfying activities, explore potential new passions and hobbies, and truly dedicate your time to healing past wounds in order to pave the way for a brighter and happier future.