Dos and Donts Early Days

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
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. - Confucius
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.
DETOX:  detox can be dangerous!  Talk to your doctor before making any major life change! See my own tale of detox here:
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.
SMART Recovery tools:
Urges:  mantra:  urges will pass, can’t make me use, and can’t hurt me, I am in control!  My urge page:
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
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. - Buddha
Anxiety:  so many things can make us anxious and trigger cravings.. .here is an article with 17 techniques to deal with nerves:
FEAR:  Future Events Appearing Real:  or Face Everything and RISE:   FEAR can literally paralyze me into INACTION.. core mantra: action leads to motivation..  Great article to help deal with FEAR:
Perfectionism:  hmm.. total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation….do you have to do everything perfectly or you think you are a failure?  NOT true, progress, not perfection. Article on “How to Overcome Perfectionism”
Self Sabotage / Self Centerdness:  self delusion, self seeking, self pity, Im not worthy!  So many forms of negative “toxic” self talk!!!
Self Acceptance: SMART has a concept of unconditional self, others, and life acceptance.  Short version, love the person, dislike the actions.  You can only control what happens in your “hula hoop”  – your thoughts and actions, can’t control others or the weather.  One of my favorite quotes is “Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys”  ~
 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…
12 Steps .. AA is based on a 12 steps and fellowship.  Steps are real.. here is summary:
AA meeting overview and lots of resources:
Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous: pdf online and searchable by keyword (use ctrl f and enter keyword)
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.
Dating and Relationships in early sobriety:   most say dont’ 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 dont work out quick way to relapse.
Dont 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.
 You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. - Marcus Aurelius
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  
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).

The First 90 Days

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. …

Early Recovery

Recovery Quotes and Slogans

1 thought on “Dos and Donts Early Days”

  1. Early sobriety is a tough period, if like me you have relapsed many a time like myself. I am at my 2nd time in recovery. I hope I get it this time. Almost 3 months sober. That elusive 90 days. When you have been drinking & doing drugs as long I had…although alcohol is my drug of choice (cos’ it came well before the harder drugs) And I know that if I don’t drink alcohol the drugs won’t follow. But having said that…I had this thought, a passing one, that I’d go straight to the drugs. Thoughts pass. Anyhow back to my long life of drinking etc. Deciding to become sober was the hardest decision cos’ I still wanted drink/drugs in my life somehow…so I thought controlled drinking. What a disaster! There’s no getting around it that I am an alcoholic.
    Now being sober it is an alternate reality….but a better one. One grounded in reality. Living life on life’s terms. I am grateful to be sober each & everyday. One day at a time. Thank you Furies for your brilliant blog.

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