During the first year of recovery, and especially during the first 90 days of sobriety, recovering addicts are in a fragile place. They are trying to hang onto sobriety while facing many reminders of their addiction. Because of this tender time, it’s important that those in recovery take it easy and avoid stressful situations. This article will explore how to best support the fragile beginning of sobriety by looking at what to avoid to stay sober.
In early recovery, there is still plenty of ambivalence. A person might have started the journey of sobriety, but might still have desires to use, a yearning for the good ol’ days, and a wish to return to way things were. In early recovery, a person is vulnerable to cravings and relapse. For this reason, it’s essential to stay in environments that are safe, those that will protect you from wanting to return to an old way of life.
However, another important precaution is to avoid situations that might create stress or a desire to use. Here is a short list of what to avoid in early recovery:
Avoid Traveling – When we travel there is often a feeling of celebration. People who are on vacation want to have a good time, and this is often associated with drinking and drug use. Even the experience of being on a plane might prompt you to order a drink when the stewardess walks through the aisle. When you arrive, you might want to order a drink from the hotel bar or have a margarita when you’re lounging by the pool. It can be tricky to travel when you’re new to sobriety, especially if traveling was associated with drinking, good times, and getting drunk.
Avoid New Romantic Relationships – Relationships can be stressful. Sure, they can also bring wonderful experiences such as physical and emotional intimacy. However, if a relationship were to fail during early recovery, this might be what sets a person drinking or using drugs again. And it’s not only a breakup that can hard, but the stress that comes from arguments can be triggering. Avoiding relationships altogether is often safer when a person is in the first year of their sobriety.
Avoid Making Big Decisions – If you can avoid it, the less change the better when you’re new to sobriety. Recovery is already an experience that can come with great challenge. It might be hard to manage the stress of learning new coping tools, ignoring cravings, and avoiding certain friends and family members. Try not to make big decisions like accepting a wedding proposal, starting a new business, or moving to a new country. Try to keep your life as stable as possible for the first year of sobriety.
Experts recommend that a person’s focus in early recovery should be solely on sobriety. Everything that a person does should be in favor of staying sober. Because that alone is a daunting task, everything that a newly recovering addict does should be in support of that and nothing else.
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