The first month of sobriety is often the hardest time. Sobriety is a journey and just like any other the first steps are the hardest. These sevens steps are here to help you overcome that first month of addiction treatment.
Build a Support Group
The first challenge you’ll face on your road to recovery is your social circle. Addiction treatment and sobriety are much easier when you are with a group of peers that are going through, or have gone through, the same thing. They’ll be able to support you and understand the kinds of challenges you are facing. Rehab is one of the ways you can find a support group, but there are other efforts both online and in person. Look around your community and find the sobriety group that’s right for you.
Don’t Start Rationalizing
After a few weeks of sobriety, you might get tempted to say to yourself “I’ve gone a few weeks, I can control a little drink here or there.” Don’t fall for this trap. Remember, recovery is a journey and not a destination. While you may stumble along the way, don’t give yourself the permission to do so by rationalizing away your urges to relapse. Keep in mind, the goal isn’t to be able to use again, it’s to overcome your dependence.
Getting out and exercising is a great way to start your recovery. No, you don’t have to start sprinting or rock climbing while you’re in the hardest part of withdrawal. Try some light, simpler exercises. This article from Harvard states that exercise, at the very least, keeps your mind focused on recovery and off addiction. Getting out and joining a yoga group or a workout class will keep you active, get your body back in shape, and help you form a community outside of addiction.
Your head will likely be swimming with all kinds of thoughts in your first 30 days of sober living. Clearing out your head space with some good meditation will help see you through this frustrating time. Take the time to learn some basic mediation take needs like controlled breathing and centering. Remember that this isn’t just a physical addiction, but it is also emotional. Meditation will help you ] have tools to help settle yourself down and experience this new emotional space when things get tough.
Your first 30 days of sobriety will be a challenging time, but it will also be an uplifting one. You’ll start to experience life without the haze of addiction. Take this as an opportunity and write down all the ways your life is changing for the better. Read back through your journal when things are getting rough and you’ll remind yourself that it’s not all bad and there are more good times ahead.
Stumbling is not the End
Your first 30 days have a high risk of relapsing. Never forgot that countless people have gone through what you are currently experiencing and they have made it. If you trip up during your first days of recovery, it’s not the end. It’s just another learning opportunity. Instead of succumbing to despair, take a moment to consider why you stumbled and work to change those conditions and continue your quest for sober living.
Get Out into the World
Your life is about to open up in ways you might have never expected. Gaining power over your addiction is going to regrow your own personal life and let you experience the world again. As addiction leaves your life, there will be a hole where it once was. Get out into the world and find something you like to fill that time and space. Try volunteering for a local cause you believe in or take some time to work on your art or education. Now is a time of positive growth in your life and it is something to be actively encouraged.