Early recovery is the toughest part of the journey, and the time where most people relapse. The first month of sobriety provides a newly recovered addict numerous challenges to overcome. Often, a person still experiences strong cravings, both physical and mental, during this time.
Additionally, going back to the stresses of life can be challenging, especially if the substance of abuse was used to deal with stress or strong negative emotions. There are some activities that can help you get through the first month of sobriety, which increases your chance of remaining sober.
Join a Support Group
One of the best actions you can take is to join a support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or SMART Recovery. These groups offer newly sober people a place to find support from others who have gone through a similar experience.
The others in the group can provide advice and a supportive ear, and you can often find a sponsor who will provide extra support during the tough times. Do not be afraid to reach out and ask for help from someone in the group, as well as your friends, family members or other loved-ones.
Start a New Hobby
One way to help yourself during your first month of sobriety is to join a new club, start a new hobby, or volunteer in your community or spiritual group. Engaging in something new will provide you with a way to meet new people and develop healthy relationships away from your substance of choice. It also gives you something to feel good about, especially if you learn something new or accomplish something, which will provide meaning to your life and strengthen your decision to remain sober. It also takes up your time and energy, keeping you away from temptation.
One of the most important things to do during the first month of sobriety is to avoid temptation. You should not hang out with friends with whom you did drugs or consumed alcohol, or you might find yourself tempted to abuse. You should also stay away from any parties that will have alcohol or drugs, as well as stay away from any bars.
Even taking prescription medication should be avoided in the early stages of recovery, and some medication should always be avoided. As your cravings subside, you might be able to associate with your friends again and attend parties without a problem. However, there is no need to put yourself in such a difficult situation when you are newly sober.
Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms
Many people turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to deal with stress or numb negative emotions. They might also use addicting substances to self-medicate a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression. In order to remain strong during the first month of sobriety and beyond, you need to learn healthy coping mechanisms. Undergoing psychotherapy and learning healthy stress relief techniques, such as meditation and yoga, provide healthy ways to manage stress and strong emotions.
Aftercare and Sober Living
One of the best ways to remain sober during that first month is to have a treatment plan that can help you remain sober. If you have gone through a dedicated treatment program at a rehab center, then you can often find an aftercare program that provides additional support during early recovery. You can also find sober living homes whether you have gone through rehab or have become sober on your own. Sober living homes provide a supportive environment for newly sober individuals to live together in a home free of addictive substances. Many people have found the strength they need to remain sober by living in these facilities.