Getting sober is one of the hardest and best things you can do. As addicts and alcoholics, our substance of choice has consumed every aspect of our lives for as long as we can remember. When we stop using, the immediate impact it has on our everyday life can be shocking. You suddenly find yourself without the crutch that you’ve leaned on for so long that walking into the world sober can be terrifying. But just remember that you’re not alone. Here are some tips to follow for getting through your first 30 days of recovery.
Find A Support Network
As alcoholics and addicts, when we stop using we often find ourselves feeling very alone. Our substance was our best friend and our coping mechanism. It was how we got through life. Without it, we felt lost and afraid. All these feelings can be made easier by reaching out to other folks in recovery. AA and NA are both great programs where you can find people who are living in recovery. They can help you get through those first few weeks by sharing their experiences with you. If you go to 30 meetings in 30 days, you’ll soon realize that there are people who are just like you, know exactly how you’re feeling, and can help guide you to living your best life in recovery.
Eat Healthy and Exercise
When we’ve been consumed by addiction for years, our physical health also declines. When we’re using, we don’t pay attention to healthy eating or getting exercise. As you start your journey to recovery, your body is going to go through a lot to adjust to the fact that you’re no longer giving it the alcohol and drugs that you were. You can counter this by eating healthy, balanced meals and getting lots of exercise. Studies show that yoga is a great choice, as it focuses on aligning your mind, body, and spirit. Drink plenty of water, which helps detox and flush your systems to remove the toxins you’ve been filling them with for years with your substance abuse.
One thing that you’ll find in your first 30 days of sobriety is how much time you have on your hands. When we’re using, time seems to slip away from us. But when we get sober, the 24 hours ahead can seem like an eternity. You can combat this by picking up hobbies that you may have given up while you were using, like playing an instrument, reading, or writing. Another suggestion is to try to learn something you’ve always wanted to do, like knitting or drawing. Being creative helps you work through the bombardment of emotions you’re going to feel in that first month and is a productive way to express them.
Take it One Day at a Time
Your addiction didn’t develop in a day, and your recovery from it will take time. Your first 30 days of sobriety are going to be full of ups and downs. Some days, you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world, that you have kicked it and are never going back to how it used to be. Other days, you’re going to feel like there is no way you can ever stay sober forever. This is normal. Thinking about never using again can be terrifying and it can also be freeing. The best thing to remember, though, is that you only need to stay sober one day at a time. You only need to get through 24 hours without picking up. There will be days when that 24 hours seems like an eternity – that’s when you should just get through the next hour or even the next minute. Break it down into incremental, bite-sized pieces, and just keep doing that back-to-back. Remember that it does get better. It’s much easier to stay sober than it is to get sober all over again.
Getting through your first 30 days of sobriety is tough. But you can make the start of your journey easier by surrounding yourself with other people in recovery and preparing for the tough times. Recovery is a long-game, and you don’t get there overnight. But by staying the course no matter what, you’ll find it gets better. At the end of the day, though, the most important thing you can do in those first 30 days is to not use. Don’t use no matter what, and no matter what leaves room for nothing.