Early sobriety, particularly your first year, is loaded with opportunities for either growth or setbacks. Whether you are fresh out of treatment, or getting sober only via a twelve-step fellowship, there are certain situations that you should be careful of. As the saying goes, “If you want something different, you have to do something different.” This may mean going against what you want or think you need, and listening to people who have more time in recovery, such as a sponsor. Below are five situations to be particularly mindful of as you begin your path to recovery.
Tempting and Triggering Situations
Old environments and relationships, while comfortable, can bring up old memories and times of when you were using. Reflection of these can make you feel as though you miss using. It may not take you long to realize that certain occurrences or situations may lead you to feel as though you want to use. Then again, sometimes it can take a while to pinpoint exactly what your triggers are if they do not occur as frequently. One of the biggest keys to recovery is learning your triggers and being prepared with a plan.
Avoiding Meetings and Support Systems
Whether you go to inpatient, outpatient or just meetings you will come to realize that support is part of a solid foundation to a successful recovery. There may come a time in your recovery when you feel as though the constant meetings or checking in with loved ones is unneeded. However, skipping meetings regardless of how well you may be doing at the moment can set back your progress.
The people in meetings can relate to you and understand better than anyone whether you realize it or not. They are there to offer wisdom and help in any way possible. Even if you are doing well in your recovery, share your progress with them, you never know how your progress can help someone else.
It is natural to get weary and feel incapable at times; in fact, it is human nature and keeps us humble. However, letting yourself believe you’re going to fail typically will only lead to failure. It is important to always believe in yourself and your recovery. When you are having a hard time, loved ones and support groups such as AA and NA will be there to lift you up back on your feet.
Don’t Get Cocky
It is always good to hold pride and confidence in your recovery. It shows your strength against addiction and can carry you far. While you should retain this confidence, you should never let it turn into cockiness or overconfidence. It is when you become too overly confident that you begin to let your guard down and become more susceptible to falling back in your progress. Remember, you are capable of winning this battle but you are never invincible.
Recovery can be an exciting process of meeting new people and reestablishing relationships. Though exciting, this can also lead to drama. As important as your past relationships are, your recovery always needs to come first. If reconnecting with someone seems to take a wrong turn or ends up leading to more drama than expected, it may be best to hold off until you’re further in your recovery practices. It is often that you will hear that if you are new in recovery you should be weary of getting involved in a new relationship. While it is not the case for everyone, as thrilling as a new love interest is, it can lead to a lot of drama and misplaced priority. Early in sobriety your main focus should be developing your recovery habits, which can be hard to balance with a new relationship.
If you or a loved one need help for a substance abuse issue, call the addictions experts at 1-800-203-2024 today.