People, Places & Things – Do They Really Matter in Recovery?
Written by Carly Benson
While it might seem daunting at first, recovery is such an incredible process and journey. They always say you don’t recover from addiction by only discontinuing using. Success in recovery requires a holistic approach by creating a completely new life.
Addiction affects all areas of your life so it’s only natural that in order to break the cycle, changes in each of those areas are also necessary. People, places and things absolutely matter when it comes to getting sober and can actually play a lead role in the sustainability of long-term recovery.
One of the first things you have to start being more mindful of are the places you spend your time. For someone trying to avoid drinking or drugging, it’s best to stay away from places that can cause temptations such a bars, clubs or concerts. In the beginning stages of recovery, avoiding places that might be a bit of a slippery slope is highly recommended. There is no need to put yourself in the position of watching other people drink or partake in vices you used to indulge in. You end up feeling left out and that mixed with the temptation right in front of you is a recipe for relapse.
This isn’t to say you can’t learn how to be in those environments once you come into your new skin. However, the initial learning curve that comes with getting used to how you interact with life and these situations is much easier without the putting yourself in those places at first. Rest assured that your social life is not over. You can learn how to have a blast in recovery. It just takes a little time to find your strength and rhythm.
Secondly, relationships with people influence your mental and emotional states. It’s crucial to surround yourself with only those people who support your recovery. The “friends” you used to get high or drink with need to be cut off immediately. Being around their energy and habits will not contribute to your mental game and it takes a strong one to stay on the path of sobriety.
You might have some friends and even family members who don’t understand what you’re going through and that’s okay because this is your journey. The best policy is to be authentic and honest when telling the people around you about your treatment and recovery. If you let them know you’re trying to do better for yourself and you really need their support, people can’t argue with your truth and most often shift to an understanding and compassionate attitude.
The bottom line for making changes to people in your life comes down to avoiding drama, feelings of shame and confrontations that could cause emotional turmoil, or initiate a relapse. The key in recovery is to keep the peace in all areas of your life as you learn to manage your new way of living.
Lastly, the things you do on a daily basis become a vital piece of working a solid recovery program. Working on yourself and getting stronger every day is where you need to focus all your efforts. It’s a time to start exploring all those things you wanted to do but couldn’t because your addiction got in the way. It’s a time to focus on you.
Creating routines that keep you on track are the cornerstone to recovery. When you have a good routine in place this helps life to be stabilized and it helps to build regimen so that you know where you’re going, what you’re doing and you stay in a state of more calmness and peace. When you have a routine, there is less room for chaos or uncertainty and this contributes to less stress, which is a huge factor in avoiding triggers for relapse.
The idea is to break the patterns that lead to using or drinking and this starts with abstaining from people, places and things that keep you romanticizing and connected to your addiction. Creating new, healthier habits around who, where and how you spend your time is the foundation of maintaining sobriety.
Recovery is possible and is best if taken one day and step at a time. Making a complete lifestyle change isn’t easy but it can become less stressful with professional assistance. Recovery programs and treatment centers offer comprehensive support to help navigate these changes and can make the process less overwhelming.
Getting help with coping and overcoming the challenges of making changes to all areas of your life in recovery can alleviate a lot of stress and ensure you have a support system in place as you get adjusted to your new lifestyle.
Contact us today to find out what programs and resources are available to you to help make your recovery and transition through recovery a smooth one. Call 866.930.2049.