Addiction recovery is a journey, and that journey comes in many different steps. Whether you are a recovering addict who has been sober for a long time or you are just starting rehab, you have struggles and choices to make. Getting through your first year sober can be one of the most challenging times for those in addiction recovery. What can you expect, and where can you go for help?
Early recovery gives you the opportunity for a fresh start. Everything in your life may feel new and real, and this can feel overwhelming. You will need strategies to help you get through each individual interaction and challenge as they come. It can be helpful to designate time for joyful play as well. Recovery is difficult, and your life does not need to be a series of challenges. Whether it is a quiet walk or a potluck with friends, you deserve to feel the joys of sobriety as well as the work involved.
Know that you will have the desire to drink or use drugs again. It is not bad to have this urge, but you need to come into that situation with coping strategies to get yourself through that moment. Talk with your support team about strategies that you can use to acknowledge the urge and move through it.
You will need to establish a new routine. This may involve finding new social circles or integrating with supportive and sober friends. It could involve 12-step meetings or other methods of supporting your recovery. You will need to create a positive routine that helps you move forward in recovery.
Have you ever felt that your recovery has challenges that other people do not face? Everyone's addiction recovery is different, and that is one of the elements that bring people together. Each person must work through unique challenges to continue to be sober. One person might struggle with being a parent of young children and staying sober, while another could have trouble rebuilding family connections and friendships and could feel very lonely.
Your recovery journey does not need to look the same as everyone else's. You are the expert in your life, and so you need to work with the specific challenges that you have and get support to create the life you want and need.
Recovery can be difficult. Finding people to support you will help you succeed.
When you leave rehab, this is the beginning of a new journey, and this new journey also requires support. This support could involve friends and family, a 12-step program, or a sober house or another advanced recovery program that allows you to create a safe and supportive environment. It can be helpful to seek out ongoing therapy to help you find strategies for recovery that work well for you.
Watch for post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS, and be ready to manage and treat it if this syndrome does arise. Symptoms of PAWS may appear within two months or so from the time you quit using drugs and they may affect your mood, sleep patterns, and ability to handle stress. Have a support system in place just in case this occurs. You need to know that someone will be ready to help, no matter what you face in recovery.
At Advanced Recovery Systems, we are dedicated to your recovery during rehab and for the long term. When you are looking at addiction recovery support for your first year sober, talk with us. We can be part of your support system to help you get through that first year. Contact us today.