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Three Powerful Tips for Achieving Long-Term Recovery

Three Powerful Tips for Achieving Long-Term Recovery

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Guest Post:
Written by: Adam Cook

Rebuilding a life after addiction isn’t easy. Addressing the physical and psychological issues that caused your substance abuse in the first place is an around-the-clock battle in many cases. Combined with the pressure of providing for your needs and those of your family, it can feel like too much to bear. To minimize stress and frustration that could threaten your sobriety, you must be patient, both with the process and with yourself. Here are three tips that can help tilt the odds in your favor.

Tip #1: Have a Plan for When You Travel

Traveling presents special challenges for people trying to stay sober, according to Psychology Today. So have a plan in place before you depart. It should include these guidelines:

Choose your destination with care. Fortunately, there are many excellent getaway locales for people who are in recovery, according to USA Today. You really can have fun without drugs or alcohol!
Traveling for work is a bit more challenging, since you may have little choice as to your surroundings. You should let your co-travelers know that you’re in recovery so they don’t issue a well-intentioned invite to a bar or some other inappropriate location.
Take important contact information with you. Chief among these is your sponsor’s phone number and email address. Let your sponsor know you’re on the road and may call at odd hours.

Tip #2: Remember the “First Year Rule”

As a rule, the first year of recovery presents two types of pitfalls. First, and most obvious, is the risk of relapse. Many addicts fall off the wagon right after leaving rehab, as pointed out in a New York Times article. One essential step to prevent this from happening is to avoid dating during those 12 months (if you’re single). Relationships bring with them a set of pressures and priorities that can derail even the most sincere attempt at staying clean.

There’s another hazard that comes during those first 365 days, one that’s less apparent but just as insidious. It’s known as the “pink cloud syndrome” and refers to the initial rush of euphoria that comes after getting on the wagon. The person in recovery feels clean, fresh, and rejuvenated, as if all problems are over, and there’s nothing ahead but pink clouds and sunshine.

Inevitably, of course, this phase passes, and the person realizes that, sober or not, many aspects of life are far from ideal. This may be due in large part to financial pressures, since finding employment after a period of addiction is often challenging. Overcoming this roadblock may require starting with an entry-level position to build a sound work history. You can use this time to upgrade your skills through online or local job training while improving other areas of your life.

Tip #3: Find a Healthy Addiction

This tip may sound counterintuitive. But it’s based on feedback from countless addicts who report that they were only able to stay sober after replacing their craving for drugs or alcohol with a different, healthier obsession, such as exercise. If, as many believe, certain people are prone to addiction, then this makes a lot of sense.

Speaking of exercise, there are many reasons why it may be the key to long-term sobriety. For one thing, physical activity creates a “high” all its own, due to the release of natural compounds by the brain. For another, exercise can bond you to a new group of friends whose lives revolve around staying fit. Lastly, getting in shape can remedy the self-esteem problems that are often at the heart of addiction. Of course, you should check with your healthcare provider before starting any diet or exercise program.

These three tips will help you stay clean over the long haul. Use this information to supercharge your recovery efforts. With a little effort, you’ll look back one day with a well-deserved sense of pride for achieving your recovery goals; and that’s a feeling no artificial substance can provide.

More Information

If you would like to visit Adam’s website please go to www.addictionhub.org

You can contact Adam with questions at information@addictionhub.org