2. Realize That Drinking or Taking Drugs is Not An Option
If you find yourself saying things like, “I’m not drinking right now,” or, “I’m taking a break from drinking,” you’re setting yourself up for a slip somewhere down the line. It’s important to make the distinction between a serious recovery commitment and a casual agreement to stop drinking or using for an undisclosed amount of time. Along this same vein it is important for you to change things in your life up so that drinking is never an option. At least in early recovery making lifestyle changes that supplement your decision will help bolster your recovery and strengthen it for years to come. This means removing yourself from triggering situations which could include changing career paths, removing yourself from unhealthy relationships (romantic relationships and friendships), and finding somewhere “safer” to live (if you’re surrounded by people that drink heavily and use drugs).
3. Surround Yourself With Committed Peers
As the saying goes, “Water seeks its own level.” This essentially means that those who are doing well will attract other people who are doing well. On the other hand, misery loves company – those that aren’t doing well will attract people who are also struggling. Another saying goes, “Fake it until you make it.” In this context that means that even if you are struggling or you aren’t as strong in your sobriety as you’d like to be, surrounding yourself with committed peers will help you gain self-confidence and resolve. A great place to meet people who are solid in their recovery is in 12-step treatment programs. Raise your hand in the meetings and share where you’re at and look for people to talk to that have shared a message that speaks to you. Furthermore, getting a sponsor with years of recovery under his or her belt will help immensely. You will be able to rely on your sponsor for support and ongoing encouragement.