What is the key to achieving stability in early recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction?
Early recovery is, traditionally, a very rocky time for most individuals who are trying to find their path leading them out of addiction.
So let's take a look at some of the keys and the concepts that can help to insure that you stay rock solid in early sobriety. Note that, with anything of this nature, you are only going to get out of it what you put into it, and perhaps that is really the foundational truth upon which the rest of this advice really stems from.
In other words, recovery is a lot of work. But fear not: the rewards are truly massive, and when you look back on your decision to sober up one day, you are going to be so grateful that you took it this seriously.
And that is exactly what you must do in early recovery: Take it seriously.
In fact, you must take recovery and the need for change more serious than you have ever taken anything in your life before. Ever.
I am not saying to be dramatic or for any sort of added effect here. I am speaking very sincerely when I tell you that you need to try harder at recovery than you have ever tried before in your life to do anything at all.
This has to be your biggest and most sincere effort.....of your entire lifetime.
If you fall short of this kind of “mega effort” then you are almost certain to be completely disappointed and discouraged with your results.
The reason for this is simple: Recovery is a pass/fail proposition. You either succeed or you fail. You either thrive in sobriety or you return to full blown addiction.
If there were a middle ground then I would have discovered it and shared it with you right now. But that magical middle ground does not exist for real addicts or alcoholics. Your only two choices are addiction, or recovery.
Luckily you get to choose. And if you are lucky enough to be temporarily arresting your disease of addiction, and possibly at an AA meeting or seeking help in a treatment center, then you are in a prime position to take advantage of your situation and really build something.
What you need to do in early recovery is to build an entire new life for yourself, which is overwhelming for sure, but it can certainly be accomplished if you are willing to ask for help.
And this is perhaps one of the most important things that you can do in early recovery, is to ask for help. But then you have to take it a step further and take positive action, to actually follow the advice that you are given, to follow through and go to AA meetings and go to inpatient rehab. If you are truly ready to change your life then you should have no problem accepting solutions such as these and implementing them in your life.
If you are still stuck in denial and still stuck in your addiction then you may very well resist these kinds of suggestions, arguing that you don't need rehab, or you have already “been there, done that” when it comes to treatment, or you might argue that 12 step meetings just remind you of drinking or drug use. Whatever your excuse may be, this is really just your denial talking and keeping you stuck in the disease. It is only when you surrender completely to your disease, and also surrender completely to a new solution, that you will become open minded enough to actually give these solutions a chance (and in some cases, it is a second or third chance) to work in your life.
Stability comes from safety and routine. So start out by going to an inpatient treatment center, which is always the safest option for getting clean and sober. After leaving treatment, you should be given a plan to follow that is essentially your aftercare. This might include various things such as IOP, meetings, one on one counseling, group therapy, and so on.
Now if you want stability in your recovery journey then your best bet is to dive into all of those aftercare recommendations with full force and do all of it. Attend all of it perfectly and do not skip sessions or miss any of what is recommended to you. You have to commit to all of this aftercare stuff as if your very life depends on upon it, because it almost certainly does.
Some people are very social by nature and they love the idea of hanging out in AA meetings every single day. Others are more shy or introverted and they do not relish the idea of being in a setting that will almost certainly produce social anxiety for them, making it even tougher to recover without resorting back to self medicating. So what can you do if you are naturally introverted and social settings like AA meetings just aren't your thing?
That is a very good question, because if you talk to most therapist and counselors they will simply advise you to fight through the anxiety, figure out ways to deal with it, and then connect with a peer group in early recovery that can help and support you in early recovery.
To be honest, I believe that most therapists and counselors really see this kind of social support that you get from traditional recovery programs as being absolutely essential if someone is going to achieve sobriety. I think that my own opinion is slightly more optimistic and flexible than this, and I have found people online who have been able to find other paths in recovery that do not necessarily depend on having a strong social support network. However, I would caution you that it is almost certainly easier for most people who have social anxiety to work around this particular limitation, meaning that they need to fight through it and find ways to connect with their peers in early recovery. This is, in fact, a fairly fundamental principle. You need to connect socially in early recovery so that you can identify with others and know that there is hope for yourself. You also need to connect with others so that you can get advice and insight about how to live your life, which will then free you up with the energy that is necessary to actually live your life. If you have to figure out everyone on your own then you will not have enough energy to sustain long term recovery.
What I am saying is that there almost has to be a strong social support element in early recovery if you are going to succeed. That doesn't mean that you have to force yourself to speak in front of a huge AA meeting every day, however. If you are persistent and creative you can find other ways to connect with individual peers in recovery, sponsors, therapists, and possibly even small groups. However, I would advise you that this is entirely your responsibility to make this happen, because you are essentially opting out of the standard solution, which is to just dive head first into the social world of AA or NA.
The post Achieving Stability in Early Addiction Recovery appeared first on Spiritual River Addiction Help.