The Challenges of Early Recovery
After one has gone through rehab and is trying to reintegrate back into normal life, the first few weeks can be the hardest. Trying to figure out who you are while sober, who your friends are, and how to act in family events are all different challenges within themselves.
During the summer months, as parties and family get-togethers are still in full swing, it can be even more difficult to really understand how to tackle each of these questions. Gathering some strategies to help you be successful in your sobriety is key in getting through the summer.
Have a Plan
This is probably the most important thing one can do when going into these situations. Having a plan and understanding what you need to do in different situations is key to keeping yourself sober. Going into these situations without a plan and without knowing what to do is a recipe for disaster. What are you going to do when someone offers you something? How will you respond? Answers to each of these questions and understanding that each situation will be different – that one answer to a specific situation can be forced to fit a different, similar situation is key. You will never be completely out of your depth this way – you can always be ready – at least in part.
Having a plan will give you the confidence and clarity to go into these situations with your head held high. However – there are some instances that you just don’t want to put yourself in. If you see yourself going somewhere with just too many temptations, reevaluate why you’re there and create a new plan on how to get out.
Create a New Environment
Part of living the sober life is creating new traditions that directly support your daily choice to be sober. This, however, means the cutting out of old traditions that could cause you to stumble. Holidays, birthday parties, and family get-togethers don’t have to be all the same. You can create a new model for yourself to follow, and with a supportive group/family, you can find yourself happier and more sober than ever in these situations. Creating a new environment means looking for new things to do, creating a new ritual beforehand, avoiding buying specific triggers that you know you may be weak to, among other things.
For larger celebrations, it might be a good idea to create some sort of tradition specifically for yourself that you can invite your friends into. If you’re in control of the party, it makes everything much easier. For instance, if you haven’t made some sort of “bucket list” before, now would be a great time to make something like that and each time you have a celebration try to tick one thing off of your list each time. This could be an easy, fun and great way to meet new people, try new things, have fun and stay sober all at once.
Speak Up for Yourself
The loudest and strongest advocate for yourself should be you. Find your voice, find how to speak to your close friends and family, and understand your limits. Having a close support group is critical to success – but going into these events realizing that you are what’s standing in the way between staying sober and relapsing, that is the key. Recognizing that you have the ability to make a misstep and backslide is key in understanding how to avoid it. Never walk into a room thinking that you are immune, that you have beaten your addiction and that you will never make any mistakes. Realize that this kind of thing is part of life and it needs to be addressed. You have the ability to make mistakes, and subsequently, you have the ability to be successful. Recognizing the autonomy that you have in these situations will give you the keys to being successful and staying sober.
Find Your Sober Living Community
Sober living might also mean not just a change of scenery, but a change of friends as well. Unfortunately, there are many people out there that won’t be as supportive as you need in your quest for sobriety. It may come down to you cutting ties with many long-time friends that you thought were very close. While this may sting in the moment, and nobody will truly replace anyone fully, finding new friends and creating new spaces for those friends to live in your life will be a fulfilling adventure in itself.
Sober living communities are places where you can go and find like-minded individuals to help support you in your journey. These are places where people have similar mindsets, and all want to build each other up in their pursuits to get and stay sober.
Sober living communities are cropping up all over the world. If you or a friend needs help to get sober or stay sober, reach out to one right away. If you live in the Boston area and want to find your community today, reach out to us at Eco Sober House and we will do whatever we can to help you start strong and stay sober. Find us at Ecosoberhouse.com – we have all the contact information you could need plus so much more. Don’t wait – the first best time to start was yesterday, the second best time is today.