“As you will see, recovery is about coming to know the inner ease that comes with self-acceptance. It means learning to face problems with confidence, knowing that you have the skills to deal with them responsibly, resourcefully, and creatively. And, it’s about finding more real gratification in life – a sense of meaning, belonging, and joy. In time, in fact, recovery will bring you more pleasure than your drug ever could.”
~Dr. Arnold Washton, Ph.D., and Donna Boundy, M.S.W., Willpower’s Not Enough: RECOVERING from Addictions of Every Kind
When you are a San Diego resident participating in an outpatient addiction recovery program, one of your first practical needs is a personal environment that is conducive to a lifestyle of sobriety.
Early on in your Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), it is easy for your new-and-still-fragile sobriety to be jeopardized, simply because you are feeling overwhelmed. Simply put, there can be too many areas of your life that demand your attention – your friends and family, your job, your bills and obligations –all at the time when you should be focused upon maintaining your sobriety.
Without adequate structure and support, your recovery will become much more difficult than it needs to be. Even worse, if you feel that you aren’t able to handle everything coming your way, you could even be in danger of a relapse.
Here are some practical tips on how to create an environment that allows you the necessary room to grow as you continue with your sober journey of recovery.
Keep it Simple
It’s an acronym that you hear bandied about often within 12-step meeting halls – “Keep It Simple”, and it is the most important thing that you can remember about your daily agenda during early recovery.
In the first few critical weeks and months of your recovery, keep your life as simple as possible. Eliminate any activity or duty from your daily schedule that isn’t absolutely essential.
There will be any number of chores, tasks, duties, work projects, school assignments, and even personal relationships that you will have neglected during active addiction that you now feel the need to “catch up” on, but you need resist that temptation.
Your plate is already extremely full with all of the activities related to early recovery, so when you start piling on even more obligations, many, if not most of them, will end up incomplete or neglected again. That will lead to frustration, guilt, and self-anger, which can be triggers for drinking and using.
Addiction specialists will tell you that the first 90 days of recovery are the most critical, because it is at this time when healthy new habits and routines are not yet ingrained. When you “fail” in your own eyes because you were unable to accomplish each and every thing that you set out to do, it can be all-to-easy to fall back on old coping methods, repeat unhealthy behaviors, or even just give up.
Learn the value of the word “NO”, and on a daily basis, only do those tasks which are absolutely mandatory or are related to your recovery. If you are not sure about a particular task, then that probably means you can put it off to a later date.
Participating in a San Diego intensive outpatient addiction rehab program means committing to lifestyle changes that support and further your journey of recovery. Lasting Recovery provides services designed for just that purpose, using evidence-based and wellness-focused therapeutic techniques that address the disease of addiction on multiple levels.