Recovery really is about self care.. we are worth it! Any day sober is a day not hurting ourselves. Not Punishment!
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. Maya Angelou
The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best. Epictetus
Sobriety First: seems simple enough… but wow! Triggers, people, places and things that can lead to lapses.. “Go to the barber shop often, may get your hair cut” Identify what triggers your urges and learn to avoid… helps to keep a log.
Test: Am I an Alcoholic? One of many self tests on whether or not you are an alcoholic.. take this to see if you are eligible. If YOU think you have a problem, welcome! WHO AUDIT Test 10 questions on SMART site:
Self Care: most tend to let their personal care suffer, especially in the end stage that leads to first sober days. Back to basics: personal hygiene, eating, sleeping, exercise all need to be taken care of. The first few days are AWEFUL.. so make sure you have plenty of fluids and easy to eat foods stocked.
Shame and guilt: Sobriety is Self care – not punishment! You are worth it! Every day sober is harm reduction! Don’t beat yourself up – abandon all hope of a better past. Lapses happen and are a part of the recovery process.. learn from them and move on.
Values: core tool of SMART is identifying the things you value, and making them a priority to help keep you sober. For me ~ family, health, job, freedom, self worth. Think of what you may lose, as well as goals you want to accomplish.
Costs versus benefits of Using: another SMART tool, look at the costs and benefits of using.. most benefits are short but the costs can be immediate and longer term. Remember the day after your last binge or worse if you hurt yourself or others .. I have both values and costs written and keep in my wallet.
Gratitude: each night, write at least 3 things you are grateful for…When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Marcus Aurelius
Serenity is not freedom from the storm but peace amid the storm
Relapse Justification: there are two main steps: 1) Recognizing when you are justifying a return to behaviors you’ve been working to change and 2) thinking about ways to combat the “logic” of the justification. If you can notice when you’re justifying your choice to go back to old behaviors and are able to combat that justification, you’re going to have a much easier time maintaining your behavior changes. http://motivationandchange.com/relapse-justification-normal-part-change/
Some AA guidelines: mantra seems to be “go to meetings, pray, get a sponsor, work the steps, do service work” “wheel of recovery” ~ do “enough spokes” and the sobriety runs true, not enough and the wheel gets wobbly. Alcoholism as disease? Your call…
90 meetings in 90 days~ I understand the suggestion of doing 90 -in- 90 came about as the result of a judge giving an alcoholic the option of 90 days in jail or attend 90 meetings in 90 days(a long time ago) … ‘So let it be written … So let it be done’. Also, a great distraction, keep busy, get out of the house, meet like minded sober folks, etc
Same Sex Sponsor: early sobriety peer support says Men with Men Women with Women: for many of us, the opposite sex is part of our problem, seeking validation, but being human, we do what we do and we gain experience. Sponsorship is an INTIMATE connection, and sharing this connection with someone of the opposite sex is may be a recipe for disaster. Questions for Sponsor/Sponsees: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-15_Q&AonSpon.pdf
Dating and Relationships in early sobriety: most say don’t date or change your relationship status in early days of recovery. Easier said than done – life happens while we are making plans. Many of us look to relationships to replace addictions, and even have a tendency to take hostages. We can easily obsess over others and if things don’t work out quick way to relapse.
Don’t make major Life Changes:Keeping your life simple means adhering to the 12-step rule of no major life changes during your first year of recovery. Major life changes include everything from getting married or divorced, changing residences (unless you need to in order to remove yourself from partners or friends that continue to use), quitting or changing jobs (unless absolutely necessary), deciding to have children and so on. There will be ample time to make these major decisions when you are stronger in your recovery and more confident in your capabilities.
No great thing is created suddenly. Epictetus
You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. Marcus Aurelius
First 90 Days: article from Addiction.com.
14 Steps for a Successful First 90 Days
There may be debate about the general stages of recovery, but almost everyone agrees that the first 90 days of recovery are critical. That’s because it’s during this time that most relapses occur. You’re still so new to being clean and sober that you haven’t yet become comfortable in practicing your recovery skills or dealing with everyday life without your “drug” of choice, whether that’s a substance(s) or a behavior(s).
Early Recovery (Understanding Your First Year of Recovery) includes PAWS
…What’s most important to understand is that early recovery is an opportunity for you to start fresh. You are now sober, perhaps for the first time in a very long time. This definitely will entail a lot of work (no question about that), and you may find that everything around you feels very real all of a sudden. You may find that various emotions come and go rapidly, without warning. Take this time to understand what you’re feeling, exactly, how to feel and allow yourself to process what it is you’re feeling, even if it is scary or just unfamiliar. This may involve a daily and even a minute-by-minute struggle. The fact is, recovery, just like whatever treatment you were given for your addiction(s), is unique to each person. …