Recovery takes action. You can start simply by setting your alarm earlier in the morning, getting up, making your bed. You can do things like clean the house, or something that you’ve put off for some time. Go to a meeting, meet up with friends, maybe you haven’t done that in a while either but remember, recovery takes action. Also, breathing is important. Recovering from any illness can be difficult, like an injury, so this is definitely the case recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. So please commend yourself for your courage for coming into recovery and just breathe.
Connections. Connection provides purpose. Coming into recovery we can start to feel feelings of guilt, shame, isolation, fear, depression, so making those connections with people who are necessarily like-minded can really help boost your recovery. Finding a mentor, spiritual advisor or sponsor is really important, again it links up with connection. You’re going to find a much more intimate relationship with someone, somebody you can tell all your deepest, darkest secrets, your problems, all your stuff from active addiction. So, it’s important that you find somebody like this as it will help with your confidence, your self-esteem, it will help build you back into the person that you were meant to be.
Asking for help is important. Asking for help is not something that comes naturally to people who suffer with alcohol or drug addiction, so asking for help, may look like reaching out & saying, ‘I can’t do this anymore and I need help’. It is difficult, recovery, life, is difficult, and you may be in a relationship, you may have children, you may have a stressful job, you may just really struggle with day to day life, so asking for help with these things is really important because there are people out there that will help you, especially a sponsor, mentor, and people in the recovery community.
Take one day at a time. Coming out of addiction or being in addiction we can live in the past which can then create lot of depression, or we can project into the future. This can bring a lot of anxiety as well, so something that we teach is definitely to keep it one day at a time. What can I do just for today to help me in my recovery? It might be eating three meals a day, taking the kids to school, doing a bit of exercise but definitely taking it one day at a time.
Meditation helps in taking things one day at a time. Meditation can help keep you grounded, it can help you deal with any feelings and emotions that you may be feeling for the first time in a long time. It can help you switch off busy thinking, it can help you really learn to sit with yourself. People who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction tend to suppress feelings so when these feelings start to come up for the first time normally in a very long time, meditation is a great way of grounding that and actually accepting things for what they are.
Excercise is important. Coming into recovery is a forward behavior, it’s a healthy choice, and excercise is something that actually releases a natural endorphin into your brain. So, it’s actually healthier for you, obviously you see the results externally, but internally it makes you feel a lot better as well, so if you can exercise three or four times a week, that’s really positive. Volunteering or giving back in any form to the community really helps early on in recovery. It helps you to adapt to new relationships, it helps you to get out of yourself, so if your head’s busy, if you’ve got a voluntary position, it’s something positive to concentrate on. You can also make friends and boost self-esteem, it can give you a new direction in life and open up new ways to finding goals.
Learn how to have some fun! Recovery is not all doom and gloom. Yes, it can be hard, as life is hard, but recovery should also be fun. Find yourself a group of like-minded people, try some new hobbies, do things that you’ve always wanted to do, find some inspiration, go for walks in the woods, go to a sober dance. The world may be your oyster, so go on holiday, go trekking in the mountains, there’s many things that you can do to have fun in your recovery.