Think of early recovery as a time that you’re planting the seeds of change. The do’s and don’ts below can help you nurture those seeds to form deep, strong roots in recovery:
DO learn humility. Always remain “teachable.” Listen to your counselors and those 12-step program “old timers” who have been sober longer than you. If you want what they have, then you’ll do what they do.
DO remove unhealthy people, places and things from your life. Recognize toxic relationships and weed them out. Avoid places where you’ll be tempted to drink or use drugs. Trash that “coveted” bottle of wine you’ve been stashing for a special occasion.
DO cultivate a strong support group. A sense of community is a key component of recovery. Maintaining close contact with your support group on a daily basis will help you feel more comfortable reaching out in a time of crisis.
DON’T compare your recovery with others. There is no one else on this earth who is exactly like you and no one else’s recovery will be exactly like yours. For some, 12-step programs alone are enough. Others require medication-assisted treatment in addition to counseling and 12-step work to help kick start their recovery. Get to know yourself and what works for you.
DON’T sit on the sidelines. If you’re hiding in the back during 12-step meetings, showing up late and leaving early, you’re cheating yourself. Challenge yourself to talk to two new members at each meeting. Offer to volunteer to make coffee or set up chairs. Get active and you’ll learn how good it feels to be “a part of.”
DON’T create complications. In other words, don’t make changes like starting a new job, moving or beginning a new relationship when in early recovery. The work you are doing in recovery is life-altering enough without piling on additional stressors. Make recovery your number one priority.
The first months of sobriety are often the most difficult as your mind, body and spirit take a collective breath and become acquainted with healthy habits. Have patience with yourself and the recovery process and know that the many rewards of sobriety await you.
If you’re ready for recovery, reach out to First Step Recovery today at 330.369.8022!