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Getting Your Recovery From Addiction
on the Right Path!

By Ben Schmidt

Looking forward to a life with no drugs or alcohol is exciting.No longer will you be a slave to a substance. No longer will you have to hurt your family and friends by lying to them and being irresponsible, maybe you can even save some money for once in your life! In theory it all sounds great. The realism however is usually terrifying for us who are just getting started in our recovery. The thought of interacting and doing just about anything without our best friend, drugs and alcohol, seems like something that is possible for others but certainly not for us. Let's look at some simple things we can do to get our recovery started the right way.

  1. Find a support system, people we can rely on and call at anytime for just a lending ear, they are out there and they want you to find them
  2. Practice becoming teachable, if we knew how to get sober we would of done it already, listen to those who are further down the path than you, let them teach you how to live.
  3. Find a job, any job, don't be picky. We want to build a life with structure, that is more important than getting the six figure job from your college degree (I never was able to do college in my addiction). What is important is having any job and becoming a reliable and responsible employee. Not the amount on the paycheck.
  4. This one is vital, work the steps, do not listen to Johnny old timer who is telling you to do a step a year, get cracking on that step work, find a sponsor ASAP who will get you going on that work. We are suffering from an open fatal wound and the 12 steps are the permanent bandage to fix it. Do not wait on this, in my experience it is the biggest mistake people make in early recovery, doing no step work.
  5. Take better care of yourself, my eating/hygiene habits were not exactly great while I was in active addiction. It felt weird eating 3 meals a day for a while, if you're going to eat you mine as well make some healthy eating habits. It logically makes sense that if you eat better then you will feel better and if you feel better you will be less prone to want drugs! Who woulda thought!
  6. Don't compare yourself to others, naturally we look around ourselves and see what other people are doing and wonder why we aren't more like them. Every single person in recovery has their own unique path they must walk. They always look different, if a peer of yours is ahead of you in some area of life, be happy for them and support them but never compare and get down on yourself about it. As long as you are trying your best then you are in great shape.
  7. Look into further issues if necessary, some of us suffer from more than addiction, other mental health issues can come to the forefront while we deal with our substance abuse issues. There are many dual-diagnosis programs that do a great job of covering all issues but if you find yourself needing more help after treatment you must let someone know. Just like addiction, the problem will not fix itself.

I could add to this list for another hour but in the spirit of recovery I would like to keep it simple. This really is a simple process, it's our mind that complicates everything. Give yourself a chance, give this all a shot, if you're not happy with the results your misery is happily waiting for you.

Ben Schmidt Ben Schmidt is from Jacksonville, FL and is a writer in recovery who has been sober for 7 years. He likes to advocate for self-love and positive influences in life in order to not only survive, but thrive!


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