WORKING TOWARD A SUCCESSFUL RECOVERY
Many rewards can come from making a successful recovery from alcohol and drugs. Relationships with good, understanding friends and family can be rekindled, you can have a new and positive outlook on your employment, and you might even find yourself becoming healthier and stronger due to your newly earned sobriety.
We say earned, because that is exactly how sobriety comes to a person; it is earned. No one bestows sobriety on another as if it were a gold medal for an event well executed. Sobriety, much differently, requires time, patience, commitment, as well as responsibility toward your goals.
This is particularly true in the first year of staying sober. It takes willpower and seriousness. Being vigil also helps, especially when it comes to issues that can affect the sobriety you’ve taken this long to carefully nurture.
Keep reading to find out, as well as avoid, some common issues that a person within their first year of sobriety can experience – issues that might affect their progression to full recovery.
1) AVOID THE PINK CLOUD SYNDROME
As addicts, we use chemicals to give us extremes. More often than not, these extremes are extreme highs. When going through recovery, another sort of high can be experienced once a person stops using and makes it through detox. This high is regarded as the pink cloud syndrome.
Pink cloud is a type of elation a new individual in recovery has in which they believe all is great now that they are no longer drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The individual feels as if they’ve ascended from their darkness, and nothing but easy roads lie ahead. In short, their new-found sobriety has brought them to a point of excessive optimism.
This, of course, is not in the least bit true, nor should this elation be relied upon as a constant that will accompany you through your recovery process.
Many rehabilitation therapists believe the following about the pink cloud syndrome:
- Pink Cloud feelings will not last forever and a sudden return to the reality might be quite devastating.
- Overconfidence may cause complacency about recovery, which then can lead to the risk of relapse.
- Ignoring life’s problems during this time will not make them go away, they will only surface later and seem bigger than before.
The facts are early recovery is often difficult and its success quite rare. During the recovery process many obstacles can come one’s way for which they are not prepared. This is why it’s best to achieve sobriety through a custom-tailored step-by-step program supervised by a licensed therapist.
Whatever your personal recovery program may entail, leave the early-onset elation of the pink cloud syndrome to a much later date in your sobriety, say, after you’ve completed nine to twelve months of being addiction free.
2) THIS ISN’T A RACE: RECOVER AT YOUR OWN PACE
A successful sobriety can at times seem like a competition. A person may be stronger, or has come to grips with their ailment in less time than you. This can cause a whole mess of emotions to wash over you such as jealousy or a feeling of inadequacy, especially if your own recovery doesn’t seem anywhere near on the horizon.
Well, this isn’t a race. Everyone recovers differently and at a different pace, particularly depending upon the severity of their addiction. A person is much better off paying attention to their own recovery. Getting yourself healthy should be your first priority, so stick to your own game plan regarding your sobriety. You can take interest and even support another person’s efforts toward a clean and healthy life, but remember your own sobriety has to come first.
3) TRY TO STAY POSITIVE
As many of us know, the recovery process, especially if it is in-patient, can have its ups and downs, especially in the first year of recovery. That depression can stem from many sources, including the length with which the recovery process is taking. Or the loneliness of recovery as well as missing family and friends.
Take advantage of as many programs as you can to help get your mind off depressing thoughts and emotions. Try a new exercise or a hobby. Interact as much as possible with others who are also attempting to become sober. Stay positive by reminding yourself yours is a day-by-day process, and that by the end of the road, it will have been a journey well worth taking.
4) STAY ON TOP OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
During your first year of sobriety, your rehabilitation process will no doubt include many responsibilities such as meetings with therapists, counselors, sobriety meetings, and other activities. Try your best to stay on top of these responsibilities in your first year of sobriety to further solidify your sobriety and move you away from the lifestyle of a user.
To not stay up on your responsibilities toward becoming sober is not only a waste of your time and effort, but other people’s time and effort as well.
5) STAY HUMBLE
There always exists the chance that you may do amazingly well during your first year of rehabilitation. You stick to your rehab schedule and fulfill your responsibilities toward obtaining a clean, drug-free life. Just keep humility in mind as you do recover.
Don’t boast about your strength, ability, or the rapidness with which you are rehabbing. Boasting that you are clean and sober does nothing in the way of supporting others who are going through predicaments similar to your own. Try to understand that everyone’s addiction is different. Substance abuse does not fit all in the same way that one recovery program can never fit all.
Humility is also important when it comes to the strength of your recovery. In other words, don’t become overconfident to the point that you believe you can go back to your pre-recovery ways of hanging out with friends and partying. Your recovery might not be strong enough to withstand a night out on the town. You might have a relapse, which can mean the hard work you’ve done up to this point could now be out the window, starting you off once again on square one.
TAKE ALL THIS AND REMEMBER IT IN YOUR SECOND YEAR OF SOBRIETY
As you forge ahead toward sobriety, try to remember that the first year of sobriety will more than likely be your most challenging. After one year, many have suggested that their will to use alcohol and/or drugs significantly wanes. It takes time, commitment to a plan and the correct frame of mind. If all three of these are in place, a drug-free life can become a strong and sturdy reality instead of a pipe dream or fantasy.
If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.