The first year of recovery can be hard to navigate. The stressors and triggers you experience during this time will put your hard-earned sobriety to the test. In order to increase your chances for long-term success in recovery, you will need to have several essential life skills in your back pocket. The following article highlights some of the necessary skills you need in the first year of recovery.
Fully Admit That You Are an Addict
The most important skill you need in the first year of recovery is to fully accept the fact that you have an addiction. The powerlessness and helplessness of addiction falls perfectly in line with the first step of all 12-Step programs. If you aren’t able to fully admit that you have a drug and/or alcohol problem, you are setting yourself up for failure down the road.
People, Places and Things
Another important skill you need in the first year of sobriety is the ability to avoid high-risk situations. This means staying away from the people, places and things that trigger cravings for drug and alcohol use. This includes bars, using friends, and those locations where you used substances like a park or house. Take the time to carefully assess high-risk places and situations and avoid them as much as possible in your first year of sobriety.
Say No and Mean It
Recovery profoundly changes that way you think and act. A huge part of staying in recovery is learning to say no. While you may be tempted to think otherwise, saying no in high-risk situations protects you from relapsing. Being able to say no to substances helps you gain assertive and shows that you are putting you, your health, and your recovery first.
Do you want to feel a rush and a high without substances? Exercise!
Regular exercise releases endorphins which is the brains “feel good” chemical. Exercise can be as simple as going for a 20-minute walk, or you can engage in more strenuous activity such as weight training, martial arts or running. Not only will you feel good, you will look good—and that provides a huge boost in confidence.
Play the Movie
There will be times in early recovery where you may feel on top of the world. While it is important to celebrate your victories in recovery, you need to remember that addiction is a cunning disease. At times, thoughts of the good times you experienced while drunk or high may be vivid in your memory. When you experience these thoughts, it is important to think about the devastating effects of addiction in your life. Sure, you may have had good times—but those times came with a heavy and heartbreaking price.
To stay sober for the long-term, it is important to remind yourself every day when sobriety has given you. The positive may seem small on the surface, appreciate those small victories. Write down what you are grateful for each day. Find time each day to have quiet time to reflect on your happiness and growth in recovery.
Do you want to know more ways you can stay sober in your first year of recovery? Call the experienced professionals at Drug Rehab Program Journal toll-free at 1-800-205-1201.