Many people in early recovery enter into treatment apprehensive, faced with a mixture of emotions alongside the unknowns of what to expect.
Family members and friends often do not understand the effects of addiction, leaving the person struggling with substance abuse feeling alone and hopeless.
The good news is addiction treatment offers professional guidance, understanding and relatable experiences though peer group interaction. Entering addiction treatment encourages abstinence from mind-altering substances, accountability, and education about the disease of addiction.
It can be overwhelming at first to fathom how to manage outside life demands and recovery. However, there is no shortage of tools and techniques to be learned in the first 30 days to help keep on track.
Listed below are a few recommendations to help manage the first 30 days in recovery.
1. One Day At A Time
A very popular and helpful saying utilized by those in Alcoholics Anonymous is "one day at a time". Often in early recovery, many feel an imminent need to get everything back on track and fix all of the negative impacts incurred due to substance use.
There is no quick fix.
Becoming an addict does not happen overnight and it will take time to recover and mend all that has been damaged. To stay sober one day at a time, sometimes one minute at a time is a useful catchphrase to serve as a reminder to slow down and just not use substances today, repeating this the next day and the next.
2. Increase Sober Support
Sober support can be a group or person an individual feels they can openly communicate about personal experiences. It encourages accountability in early recovery as well as helps build a foundation for outside support for when treatment is completed.
Attending mutual aid or bridge groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, Smart Recovery, Narcotics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery as well as church groups or other support based groups are a few examples of where an individual can go to increase support within their recovery environment.
Social support is not just limited to formal recovery groups; it can be family members, loved ones, trained professionals, doctors, friends or colleagues. Learn more about how to build your sober support network.
In addition, there are mobile apps that can be helpful in recovery like Sober Time, Sober Grid and Twenty-Four Hours a day.
3. Fill In Gaps In Your Schedule
As mentioned above, attending mutual aid groups will also fill idle time that previously was spent using substances.
Think about what time you used substances and have a plan for that time. Create a routine and schedule that is obtainable and easy to stick to. Following a schedule will help minimize stress by creating an environment that is consistent making it easier to prioritize recovery efforts.
Even the best schedule and routine can still have moments of idle time. Combating boredom and overcoming loneliness will become important tools as you learn to explore and develop a new lifestyle driven by changes you truly enjoy.
4. Take Care Of Yourself
Having a healthy diet and exercising will help the body recover quicker from the negative impacts of substances. Get some fresh air, try taking a daily walk not only does it help your body physically but mentally as well. Self care like yoga and meditation are also great ways to help improve and heal your mind and body.
5. Plan For Stressors
It is inevitable, life stressors will show up unannounced. Do not get caught off guard.
Yes, it is impossible to plan for all the negative circumstances that may happen but putting recovery first will encourage new behaviors instead of using substances to cope. Have a plan in place to manage stress and cravings/urges when they arise.
A few suggestions might be calling a trusted friend, family member, or sponsor, going to a meeting, or practicing mindfulness. Getting through the first 30 days is a great start to the exciting journey of recovery. The most important thing to remember is that no one has to recover alone. There is help and support for any that choose to seek it.
If you or a loved one need help for an addiction or alcohol problem and want to know more about treatment options, call us at: (630) 402-0144.