Building a strong foundation in recovery (sobriety) from drug & alcohol addictions requires a variety of tools and suggestions, here are a few.
It is well-known in the addiction recovery industry, rehab business and 12-step world that, the primary way to achieve long-term sobriety is through being active in a 12-step program, working with a sponsor and helping other alcoholics and drug addicts. This has proven to work for millions of people worldwide. However, there is no one cookie cutter approach that is a sure fire guarantee to maintain ones recovery. Everyone is different.
“I’ll share part of my personal experience. I had 23 months clean and sober, was active in AA, had a sponsor, worked the steps, had sponsees and from an outsiders perspective, my life looked great. But I wasn’t happy even though all the external stuff started coming back (i.e. relationships, job, house, etc.) I shared with my sponsor that I wanted to relapse and even shared the same thing at a, NA meeting. Then I was off to do what I did best – go get high. In hindsight, what I didn’t do was ask to be surrounded by others in recovery that day as I didn’t trust myself. Had I done so, I likely would have maintained my sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Today, I know that experience was necessary for me to learn the true definition of humility and ask not for what others’ expect, but what I need. I know today that my sobriety MUST come first – at any expense!” — Anonymous
Below are some essential tips to help you stay clean and sober, regardless of whether you are a drug addict, alcoholic or both:
- Don’t overestimate your control over your addiction. We all do at some point.
- Practice complete abstinence. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can moderate your drug and alcohol intake.
- Exercise regularly and eat well.
- Cut out toxic relationships from your life including friends and romance. Build new relationships with positive people.
- Reconnect with friends and family who may have distanced themselves from you.
- Don’t mistake enthusiasm to change with actual action.
- Reach out to others in recovery daily.
- You’re responsible for your own sobriety. Do what works for you, never believe anyone who tells you that their way is the only way.
- Make sure you’re not lying to yourself. If what you’re doing doesn’t work, you have to take major action to change.
- Move beyond self-pity. Accept the cards you were dealt with and move on.
- Heighten your self-awareness though meditation and self-reflection.
- Keep busy! Return to school, work or volunteer.
- Learn to have fun sober – it IS possible.
- Develop a support network. Build an extended family (through AA, NA, SMART Recovery) that understands what you’re going through.
- Be grateful – write down 5 things you are grateful for daily.
- Make a bucket list – then go out and do it!
- Create the life you want – don’t settle for the life you have.
- Stop making excuses or blaming others.
- Remain humble. Always be willing to learn.
- Don’t get complacent.
- Don’t live in fear. You are the only one who can control YOU.
- If you do relapse, don’t let it slip back into full-out abuse. Accept that you’re human and that you slipped up. Then take massive action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
These are simply some tips to help maintain long-term recovery. Take what you like and leave the rest. Add to the list. Sobriety is worth it!!!
For more information on this article or to contact Concise Recovery Center in Los Angeles, California please call 24/7 at: (888) 978-5424
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