When I first entered treatment I was hopeless and broken. I had little faith in myself and was so lost that I felt I was wasting my time. Thankfully, my hope was restored in treatment and I was given certain suggestions on how I can strengthen my recovery upon leaving treatment. These things turned out to be ideas that saved my life. I’d love to share some with everyone.
The most important thing that I first did when I discharged treatment was find the right people to surround myself with. It was not an easy task. Before getting sober I was incredibly isolated for at least a year, I couldn’t approach and interact with people I had known for years or my entire life! Now I was being asked to find others in recovery with some experience ahead of me to help me out. Why would they want to help me?
Something you notice when you engage with anyone you have just met in recovery is that conversation is very easy. I have found that anyone who has the common denominator of being in recovery is very easy to talk to. It really is that feel of feeling you have known someone for years after talking to them for only 10 minutes. I pray you find this out yourself, it is a keystone to recovery.
It is very important who you surround yourself with in recovery, I have found if I am around people working on themselves and doing the right thing, I am inspired to as well. If I am around people who are more interested in finding a romantic relationship or going to the movies, I am going to do that as well. The latter path is not a good one to walk in early recovery. I pray you find this out yourself, it is a keystone to recovery.
Honesty was a very difficult thing for me in early recovery. Lying was second nature to me in active addiction, I just told people what they wanted to hear so they would leave me alone. I was worried I would not be able to turn into an honest person upon entering recovery.
The first thing I had to do was get honest with myself, because even though I lie to the people around me, I lie to myself more than anyone else. Getting honest with myself meant looking at my real intentions and asking myself if they were good or not. There needs to be an active awareness to begin practicing honesty. Make your intention every morning to be as honest as you can be. There will be times where you catch yourself lying either in your head or to somebody– fix it, there is major growth there when you do.
Honesty is also important when you leave treatment because you must tell somebody when you are having a bad day. I had plenty of times where I kept it in that I was feeling off on a certain day and it snowballed into something much worse weeks later. It is not worth holding it. Work on letting people know how you truly feel, be honest with them!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, take action every day of your life. Whether it is finding a job, going to work, going to a meeting, going to the gym, meeting up with some sober friends. Keep moving forward, in my experience it is very easy to stay stagnant because it is comfortable.
When we are newly sober we are very raw and experience a lot of fear in trivial things. Talk about your fear with people and walk through it. Building your new life in sobriety will be the greatest thing you have ever done in your life so don’t sit back and wait, we decide when we start to get well. In recovery, you get in what you put out. Put your heart and soul into it and never look back.
Daniel Wittler is an Outreach Specialist for Recovery Local, a local addiction/recovery based marketing company. He advocates long-term sobriety by writing for websites like journeypure.com, providing resources to recovering addicts and shedding light on drug addiction. Daniel believes that absolutely anyone can get sober provided they are ready to take action in their own life.