6 Tips For Staying Clean In Early Recovery
Many people think that getting clean is the hardest part and while that may be true in certain cases, especially when it comes to drugs such as heroin which can have an intensely hard detox process, however very often the hard part is in early recovery. The drugs have completely left your system and you are no longer physically craving the drug but facing life on life’s terms and learning how to cope with everyday situations is tough. In addition to facing everyday situations, you will also need to face all the consequences of your addiction. This is the reason why many addicts get clean and then relapse again after just a few short months.
Once you have come off your drug of choice the hard work really begins. Here are some tips for staying clean in early recovery:
Stay Out of Romantic Relationships
One of the fastest ways to relapse is to get into a romantic relationship too soon. In early recovery addicts are not able to cope with emotional highs and lows very well at all.
In addition to that addicts are often looking for something outside themselves to make themselves feel better. Take away the drugs, alcohol and other crutches an addict usually makes use of and a relationship may be one of the first things an addict tries to make themselves feel better.
Recognize Your Triggers
Through meetings, chatting to your sponsor and sessions with your counselor you will start to recognize your triggers. When you can recognize your triggers, you can start to deal with them in a different way and not revert to your usual and destructive ways of coping. Being in recovery is about learning healthy coping mechanisms and then implementing those instead of using.
Plan For Festivities
Your first birthday, Christmas, Valentines, New Years Eve, Easter and many other special occasions will be times that will most likely be uncomfortable and trying for you. Make sure to have a plan in place for each of these occasions.
This is also where being part of a recovery community such as the 12 step program really comes in handy. There will be sober events and meetings held at these times to support you and help you get through them sober. If it is your own birthday make sure to chat to your sponsor and counselor to ensure that this is a safe time.
People, Places and Things
Hanging out in your local bar to get a lemonade is not the best idea. Likewise hanging out with your using friends will always lead to trouble. Being in recovery means a new way of life and letting go of the people, places and things associated with your using and your old way of life. Yes this is tough to do but it is essential if you want to make it with your recovery.
Take Up New Hobbies
Your life up until you got clean was filled with destructive habits and things that did not benefit you. Chances are that you did not participate much in any healthy hobbies. Now is the time to take up something new. It is all very well cutting out the bad things in your life but you need to fill those gaps with something new. Taking up hiking, reading or crafting will give you a healthy way to spend your time.
Go For Counseling
Chances are high that you have some underlying issues that you need to work through, especially if you have not gone for addiction treatment. If you want the best possible chances of staying clean and maintaining your recovery, then having regular counseling sessions is highly recommended. Addiction is treatment is tough, but you will learn about the process of addiction and the reasons why you keep using. You will learn healthy coping techniques and stand a much better chance of long-term recovery.