The journey of recovery is long and arduous, but extraordinarily fulfilling when one has been able to overcome obstacles. Anyone recovering from a severe addiction should remember that there is not a single roadmap to success, but varies depending on the individual and the circumstances. Most addicts in recovery agree that the hardest part of the journey is the early stages of sobriety. This is when someone has to learn how to live life in a completely different way. Sobriety isn’t only about the addiction, but the lifestyle that has come with the addiction, and learning to find another way to live. Here are five tips to get you through the early stages of sobriety.
One: Find A Support Group
There are twelve-step groups for every type of addiction, but particularly for drugs and alcohol. So when someone is first starting to live a sober life, a support group can always be found in the local chapter. There are even mentors willing and able to help others who are starting their journey. The individual can also look for other means of support, whether it’s through friends, family, or even religion. There is no wrong or right way to find a support group, only that it aids the individual in getting through the initial stages of recovery.
Two: Understand Relapse Doesn’t Mean Failure
Even if an individual does relapse, that doesn’t necessarily mean failure. People are not perfect, and even those with the best attentions can have a weak moment. What matters most is that the addict gets back up and works on being sober again. The worse thing one can do is to think that recovery is already a failure and go back to being an addict. If relapse does occur, speak to someone with experience in addiction about the relapse, whether it’s a mentor or an addiction treatment professional. Then try to understand what caused the relapse and how to avoid it in the future.
Three: Stay Away From Alcohol-Related Situations
Particularly during the early stages of rehab, stay away from situations where alcohol will be involved. And people will understand if one explains the recovery process. In the fragile early stages of recovery, stay away from all alcohol-related social events, get-togethers, and friends who drink. While this may seem severe, it’s crucial that any type of temptation be avoided.
Four: Go To Bed Early
Nightlife, partying, and feelings of loneliness are a toxic brew during the nighttime. When someone is alone at night, particularly if they had previously lead a lifestyle of partying and alcohol, going to bed early is one of the most effective things they can do to avoid getting into that lifestyle again. If they stay up late, feelings of loneliness and restlessness can be overwhelming. This means that the individual should go to bed early, get up early, and integrate that routine into their life, so they can learn to function without the allure of alcohol.
Five: Eat Healthy And Exercise
Eating healthy and exercising will help an individual get into the routine of going to bed early and getting up early. The exercise is particularly important because it will help the individual burn energy, and feel good because of the endorphins that exercise releases in the body. And eating healthy will help rebuild the body and mind from the abuse it has suffered because of the addiction. This is part of the overall lifestyle change an addict should undergo to create a holistic change, so that sobriety can be achieved long term. Addicts in recovery should also remember that recovery is an on-going process, and sobriety should be considered a work in progress.