So you’ve decided to start recovery in 2021. Congratulations!
The first step to start your recovery is admitting you are addicted to a substance. Whether you hit rock bottom or had a moment of clarity sitting in traffic, you can finally admit you have a problem. Wonderful. Keep in mind, admitting you have a problem is only the first step in the journey to recovery. After, accept that you need to stop your substance abuse.
Quitting substance abuse is an extremely difficult process. Most people struggle to cut drugs and alcohol from their life without the help of others. Additionally, people suffering from addiction often lack the information necessary for recovery.
Seek Support to Start Sobriety
A lot of people struggling with addiction delay treatment, and recovery in general, for fear of rejection. The shame they harbor for their drug and alcohol abuse isolates them from loved ones over time. In addition, once you receive questions of concern and judgment, it’s common to cut off healthy relationships to continue your substance use without scrutiny. As a result, by the time you come to terms with the severity of your addiction, support seems unattainable.
In order to start your recovery, it is important to set your hesitations aside. Share your struggle with others. Additionally, speak with professionals in order to determine whether or not you require a medical detox. Enlisting the help of friends, family, and addiction support groups will aid your recovery immensely. In fact, meetings like AA and NA provide a safe, judgment-free space for you to express your doubts and experiences alongside people who relate to you. Consequently, you will have a healthy emotional outlet that offers you a sense of community and togetherness.
Quitting any long-term habit cold-turkey is a challenge and trying to end an addiction is no exception, not by a long shot. Addiction consumes 95-100% of your attention, and because of this, it is a task and a half to successfully purge thoughts of using from your thoughts. To start your recovery, substitute your addiction fixation with a healthy alternative activity. Find a positive avenue to channel your attention on. For example, fixate on work, religion, volunteer work, exercise, a hobby, a project. Removing drugs and alcohol from your life can leave you with cravings and a lot of spare time, so employing a means of distraction allows you to maintain your recovery, lowering your chances of relapsing.
Once you feel secure in your recovery and no longer need the constant distraction, you can pull back on your fixations.
I’ll just say it, relapses happen. It’s important to manage your expectations. When you start your sobriety, avoid creating unachievable goals for yourself. Unfortunately, setting hefty goals leads to self-sabotage if you don’t meet your self-imposed standards. You’re already starting off with an incredible goal: quitting your addiction. If you try to add another hundred habits into your routine during early recovery, the stress is bound to pile up. As a result, your desire to escape reality increases alongside the cravings to use.
Instead, create, implement, and complete your goals one at a time when you start your recovery. If the habits your implementing are on the smaller side, introduce a few at a time, but whatever you do, take care not to overwhelm yourself. Consider, the principles for goal setting are the same across the board— when implementing healthy eating habits, it’s harder to remove gluten, sugar, carbs, and dairy all at once, and people who remove one food group at a time are more likely to succeed instead of crashing and bingeing. So, be patient and go slow.