Generally speaking, the goal for anyone in recovery is to maintain their sobriety for the long-term. Everyone knows that it begins with stopping the addictive substances, but how do we continue to be successful in the long-term? Setting yourself up for success early on is extremely important when it comes to recovery, but it’s not always clear on how to do this. Some are fortunate enough to go to treatment and receive professional guidance through early recovery, while others may rely on a twelve-step fellowship or therapist for their guidance. No matter how we receive our help, we must remain teachable and willing in order for us to practically apply any of it. A closed-minded attitude during the early stages of sobriety is a surefire way to set yourself up for failure down the road. We must remain teachable and open in order to fully recover and continue on in our sobriety.
Ask for Help
One of the most critical steps in setting yourself up for success is a fundamental of recovery—asking for help. Admitting that we need help is one of the hardest things that we can do. It’s also one of the bravest things we can do, and the first step in finding recovery. It was our own line of thinking that got us into this predicament in the first place, so what makes us believe we can think our way out of it?
Once we surrender to the idea that we know best, we become receptive to help and new ways of thinking. What tends to happen though is once we being to recover, we forget the importance of looking to others for guidance. The substances leave our system, we regain a little bit of clarity, and suddenly we know what’s best again. Don’t fall into this death trap. Once we become un-teachable and closed-minded our capacity to grow is completely diminished. When we stop growing, we’re no longer recovering—we’re just remaining stagnant.
For those who are lucky enough to have received treatment for their addiction, continuing that treatment in some way is another great way to set yourself up for success. Many times, when inpatient treatment ends, people want to return back to their normal lives. The truth is that fourteen to thirty days of treatment is simply not enough for most people. Recovery begins during this time and a foundation begins to form, but without ongoing therapy, chances of success decline significantly. The best way to ease yourself back into daily life is to enter an intensive outpatient program, gradually reentering society. IOP allows guests to continue therapy and treatment while slowly reintegrating themselves back into everyday life.
A Strong (and Sober) Support Network
Recovery is not something that was meant to be taken alone. We need others to lean on and help us through the good times and bad times. Another one of the most crucial tools in early recovery is creating a network of sober contacts who understand your challenges. Twelve step fellowships are an excellent place to develop this network. Meetings are full of people who have been through addiction and know what it’s like to find success in sobriety. Get phone numbers and develop relationships with people who you can relate to. AA and NA encourage you to find a “sponsor.” A sponsor is someone who will take you through the twelve steps and act as a mentor. The most important thing to remember about creating a sober network is to actually utilize it. Reaching out during hard times can be difficult for some. The best way to combat this is to make it a habit to call a few sober supports on a daily basis.
Work on Healthy Behaviors
During your addiction you probably got used to some pretty unhealthy habits and people. Early recovery is a time to develop new positive behaviors into your life. It is also a time to establish healthy boundaries with friends and family members. Communicating these boundaries appropriately is paramount in making sure they are effective. Let your loved ones know exactly what you need from them—for example, if you’re uncomfortable being around anyone drinking, let them know that. There may be times where your loved ones forget about the new boundaries you’ve set. If this happens, remind them that you can’t be around that type of behavior. If they repeatedly ignore your requests, then it may be time to reevaluate that relationship. Families and friends who truly care for you, are often incredibly willing to do whatever they can to help keep you on the right path.
Setting yourself up for success early on, can make a big difference in your recovery down the road. It can take some work, but the payoff is a long prosperous life of sobriety. Royal Life Centers is the premier drug and alcohol treatment center to begin your road to recovery. We give each of our guests the tools and guidance they need to change their lives and be successful in the long-run. Our admissions team is waiting to hear from you and answer any questions or concerns you may have. Call us 24/7 and begin living the life you were always meant to, today. (877)-732-6837 or (877)-RECOVERY.