What Are 5 Things to Avoid in Early Recovery?

What Are 5 Things to Avoid in Early Recovery?

Now that you are in early recovery, you are on the other side of addiction. It may feel uncomfortable, scary, frustrating or myriad other feelings. Newly sober people might feel truly alive also, not having felt as good as they do now. If you are feeling all these things, that is okay. The challenges you face can be met one day at a time in early recovery if you are willing to work towards avoiding some pitfalls.

Avoid Triggers

In early recovery, you figured out coping mechanisms to help you overcome the urge to drink. You might feel you have superpowers but this can lead to relapse. Don’t overestimate your own ability to do things. Current science shows addiction is a disease with a biological basis. While willpower can help you cope, it is also true addiction is powerful and compelling. It is unwise to rely on willpower alone. It makes it easier to maintain sobriety by avoiding triggering situations. Your willpower is only tested in hard situations but why put yourself there when you can avoid them altogether.

Remove Triggers

Many people who have been in early recovery know, as a general rule, having a routine is very helpful. Certain people, places, and ways of life were part of living for addiction every day. In recovery, it will be the same only with different people who support sobriety. Some people in early recovery want to believe they can power through triggers. Don’t put yourself in that spot. Establish a routine, watch for triggers, and make new routines if possible (including new friends and places to hang out if necessary).

Plan Ahead

Many people in recovery have hidden triggers that may surprise them by prompting a desire to use drugs or drink. To identify hidden triggers, think about times of year you were most likely to abuse substances. For many people, the holidays are triggering. It may be a traumatic anniversary but, whatever it is, plan with a sponsor or sober friend how to respond when it comes up.

Testing Limits

Be mindful how far you push yourself. You are new, raw, and vulnerable. You might be tempted to test your limits and prove yourself once and for all. Some people test limits by entering triggering situations to see how they handle it. Don’t put yourself (and your sobriety) at risk of relapse by being in a situation where drugs and alcohol are present if you are not ready. Early recovery is not the time to push boundaries in this way. Temptations may send you reeling so it is best to watch for them.

Lose Focus

When you lose focus on recovery, you may begin to slip. It would be great to overcome drinking and drug use but you will need more than just a few days or weeks in recovery. Recovery is a way of life, not a one-time goal. It is made up of a series of smaller goals you set to help you achieve a lasting, healing, recovery.

The Palmetto Center is based on a Therapeutic Communty model. We help people learn how to live free of addiction. Our community support provides structure while trained counselors offer life skills training and therapeutic techniques to help you move past addiction. Our program provides special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.