When you first begin your journey into addiction recovery, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of support and information that floods in. By receiving treatment at a qualified facility, a new world opens up before you. You’ll quickly learn an entirely new language of helpful maxims, key words, acronyms, and conversation topics. A flurry of 12-Step meetings, counseling sessions, and group therapy gatherings will overtake your schedule. Once all of this excitement subsides, it’s easy to fall into a rut after your first year post-treatment. As you settle into a new life free of drugs and alcohol, you may feel that you’ve run out of new experiences and that sobriety is just a way of life for you now. This is exactly when you should seek to revitalize your recovery.
Take Care of Your Whole Self
Experts suggest putting more time towards self-care as your enthusiasm for recovery wanes. Research shows that by investing in yourself, your overall well-being and mental health improves dramatically. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Exercise has been proven to help break destructive, compulsive behaviors, while meditation can do the same thing for unhealthy, obsessive thoughts. You should also strive to remember H.A.L.T. – prevent yourself from getting hungry, angry, lonely, or tired to thrive in sobriety.
Practice Gratitude and Reflection
As you accrue more and more days sober, you also distance yourself from what your life was like during active addiction. While it isn’t healthy to romanticize the past, it is important to remember how far you’ve come. Whenever your days begin to feel too routine and risk-free, think about where you were while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Reflect on the number of great choices you have made since treatment – how they have led you to this place of safety and security. By keeping your first step close and acknowledging the past, you are able to feel fully grateful for your future. This encourages you to continue actively working on your recovery for years to come.
Think of the Newcomer
The 12th step calls us to carry the message to alcoholics, practicing these principles in all our affairs. Its key word is action. Recovery isn’t meant to be static or stagnant; we are called to spread our spiritual awakening to others by helping those new to sobriety. You can think of the newcomer in two ways. First, by remembering that the parts of each meeting that may seem repetitive to you – such as the introduction in the beginning – could be lifechanging for someone in the room who has never experienced them. Second, you can take an active role in others’ recovery. Sponsor someone or just provide a listening ear when they need support. By giving back, you will remember the importance of your well-worn phrases and apply them in new ways.
If you’ve attended meetings for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed some overlap in the lessons and phrases used. Rather than letting these maxims bounce off of you, use them as an opportunity to fully explore the meaning behind each expression. Often, old-timers will add unique insights to sayings you’ve heard time and time again. Bringing a notebook with you to meetings – and setting aside some time to journal about what you learned – can help you to explore new facets of old concepts.
Finally, if you’re starting to feel stuck in the cycle of identical meetings and the same faces week after week, you should feel empowered to make changes to your routine. Consider adding a new program to your rotation to get new perspectives on what it’s like to live in sobriety. Try attending meetings at different times of day – some cities have late-night offerings, which will have a different tone and attendance than those in the early morning or afternoon. If your friends are a part of different groups, try out one of theirs for a change of scenery. Remember, meeting makers make it – don’t let yourself get tired of recovery!
The Joy of Lasting Recovery
It’s often said that the real work of addiction recovery starts after your initial treatment. When you return to your day-to-day life, you’ll face unexpected challenges – chief among these is the fear of becoming complacent in your sobriety. The team at BRC Recovery is here for you if you’re looking for ways to revitalize your time post-treatment. We offer aftercare, clinical support, and spiritual coaching options that provide support for years to come. Call us today if you need to refresh your recovery.