Early recovery is a fragile time in any newly sober individual’s life. He or she begins to feel feelings that have been buried deep in years of numbing substance abuse, begins experiencing all of the minor traumas of everyday living – relationship problems, issues at work (or issues finding work), and getting into fights with halfway roommates over who ate the last of the peanut butter. Yes, without question, early recovery is typically pretty rough – though there are undeniably avoidable ways in which you can make it significantly rougher than it needs be. Here is a list of 5 things you should absolutely avoid while in early recovery.
5 Things to Avoid in Early Recovery
- Avoid DRAMA. Living at an inpatient drug rehab or a sober living facility inevitably goes hand-in-hand with sharing personal space with at least several individuals you could have easily gone your whole life without knowing. Try not to get too caught up in all of the petty arguments and blame-games that seem to be played every time a dirty dish has been found left in the sink. Focus on yourself; distractions are dangerous in the sense that they take the focus off of you and place them onto things far less important. Remember why you are there!
- Avoid RELATIONSHIPS. Talk about distraction… the only good thing that comes out of relationships started in early recovery is literally nothing at all ever. Remember – you are still super sicker in the head, and you do not yet have anything substantial to offer another human being who is likely just as sick (if not sicker) than you. You won’t die if you don’t get laid for 3 months. You might die if you and your rehab romance relapse together and decide it is a good idea to hitchhike to Mexico. Nothing says “romantic” like crossing the border dopesick in the back of a rape van with someone you have known for two weeks.
- Avoid BARS. You have nothing to prove to anyone, don’t be an idiot. You don’t need to hone your pool skills now, no one cares. As the old-timers love to say, “Keep hanging out at a barber shop and you’re bound to get your hair cut.” Even though most of the old-timers don’t have hair…
- Avoid DANGEROUS FEELINGS. “I can’t control my feelings,” you scream in heated exasperation. Okay, true, but if you ever catch yourself feeling lonely, depressed, bored, horny, or restless, get your butt to a meeting and share about it. Except maybe the horny thing, take care of that in a private and appropriate way. You have heard the acronym HALT referenced several times in meetings or in treatment… this alludes to the fact that hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness can all be dangerous in reference to sobriety. Be in-tune to your feelings and fix them if they begin to feel off.
- Avoid TRIGGERING FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS. You will be mentally sound enough and stable enough in your sobriety someday to return home and let all of the dysfunctional people in your old life know how well you’re doing. But not for awhile. Take this time to focus exclusively on yourself, and surround yourself with positive influences – men and women who take their sobriety seriously and will help you along your own personal journey.