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10 Things I Wish I Knew In Recovery

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10 Things I Wish I Knew In Recovery

Regret is often at the core of most drug addiction recovery stories.  That is because it often takes one or more attempts at abstinence before people realize what it takes to truly achieve sustainable sobriety.  Unfortunately, a major component of addiction is its ability to impair rational thinking processes.  Overtime however, even the most seasoned addict who has a true commitment to be sober can find their way out of addiction for good.  Many say they could have saved themselves a lot of pain and suffering if they had known the following things in their first recovery experience.  

10 Things I wish I knew in Recovery

  1. There is power and strength in letting people help you stay sober.  Scientific evidence has confirmed that drugs impair important neurological functions. Since according to the scientific and medical community; addiction is a relapsing brain disease and not caused by moral weakness, it is okay to admit that you need help.  
  2. Sobriety maintenance may not get easier right after rehab, but it is doable.  Staying sober for the long haul may feel like a life sentence, and yes in the first few months after rehab intermittent events may present multiple layers of difficulty to staying sober, but it is possible to live a drug free lifestyle.  
  3. The sooner you incorporate relapse prevention mechanisms as well as healthy habits and routines that support mental health, ongoing growth and development into your lifestyle, the easier it gets to stay sober.
  4. Testing your resolve to stay sober is a prescription for a relapse.  Never take your sobriety for granted and relinquish your support systems or get so overly confident that you think it is okay to “just this once” drink or use drugs.
  5. Some people still do not understand what cause addiction.  As such, it is normal for people in recovery to occasionally be subjected to the stigma of addiction based on outdated beliefs.  Recognize that not everyone will be kind or supportive of your recovery process.  Some may threaten your sobriety by offering you a drink, drugs or even ridicule your resolve to stay clean. Let people know where you stand and do what it takes to protect yourself and your sobriety.  
  6. Being in recovery launches you into a new lifestyle that often necessitate giving up unhealthy friendships and living environments that influence substance abuse.  Moving away from people and places that consistently threaten your sobriety is an important step in the recovery process.
  7. Your new life choices will not be applauded or appeal to everyone.
  8. Sharing your story and helping someone else in their struggle to overcome addiction is an important and beneficial part of the recovery process.  
  9. It is okay to return to rehab if you need help to make it through a stressful life event that has triggered the beginning stages of a relapse.  Sobriety maintenance is not a one-time but an ongoing part of life after addiction.  Returning to rehab to avoid resuming drug use is not a failure but a necessary part of sobriety maintenance.
  10. Being in recovery can lead to establishing important lifelong friendships.  

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) relapse is always a possibility and very common in addiction recovery. However, not everyone who recover from addiction relapses.  And for those who do, it simply means their treatment plan needs to be reinstated or adjusted and the recovery process needs to be managed. The reality is that no matter how hard it is to stay sober, the alternative is addiction, sickness and death.  As such, sobriety is always the best decision and the safest high.  

Sources:

  1. https://www.thefix.com/content/10-things-i-wish-i-knew-beginning-sobriety
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/treatment-recovery

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