The early stages of recovery are a challenging time. As you try to cope with life without alcohol or drugs it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. However, in accepting that this is going to be a difficult path and that there will be challenges you meet along the way, you can overcome your addiction, creating a better and more positive life for yourself.

Recovering from any addiction isn’t easy and you’re going to have draw upon all of your inner strength to do this, but by avoiding these top mistakes, your path to a drug- or alcohol-free life will be one step closer.

Don’t Expect Results Overnight

Drinking alcohol or using drugs in excess will no doubt have created more problems for you but addictions run much deeper than this and you’ll probably find that you have a lot more to tackle than just your addiction.

When you’re addicted to something, it provides you with immediate gratification when you consume it, making you feel instantly better at that moment in time. However, in order to feel good all of the time, you need to appreciate that it’s going to take some time and commitment to get to this stage. You’ll have to muster up all of your commitment and will power to succeed daily, not just on day one of your recovery program (look at Alcohol Recover Centre for info).

It’s going to take a lot of hard work but with this your recovery can be everything you have been hoping for.

Don’t Overthink the Future

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While you need to focus on the future and getting better, you need to keep your feet firmly grounded in the present. During the early stages this isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

You’ll need to work towards goals that are focused on the present during your early stages, thinking about what you can do this instant that will help in your recovery journey. Consider what you can do tomorrow to help ease the process and what will help you to stay committed. If you can do something positive today, this will help you to cope better with tomorrow, and will also allow you to feel like you’ve accomplished something when you go to bed at night.

Don’t Do It On Your Own

Because your addiction is something you’ve done on your own and you’ve been self-reliant during this time, perhaps cheating and lying to others, you’ll probably feel very isolated and alone. However, one of the most important things to overcome at the start of your recovery process is that you need to involve others in it and you need to have people around you to overcome your addiction.

At the start, it will probably feel difficult to ask for help, or even just talking to someone about your recovery, as you’ll feel as though this is a sign of weakness. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Acknowledging and talking about your addiction is a sign of courage and acceptance and it takes great strength to talk to people about it and to ask for their help.

It isn’t going to be easy to ask for this help but it’s a vital element in your recovery process. Starting to create new relationships will help you to build a network of people who can support you and if you can speak to those who have learned from others in the past, this shows your recovery is well on track.

Don’t Make Too Many Commitments

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Achieving the biggest result of recovering from an addiction will only come if you put all of your efforts into achieving the recovery you want. However, it’s important that you don’t over-commit during these stages.

Yes, you are tackling your addiction head on and you’re improving your health both mentally and physically but this doesn’t mean you should start taking everything else on straight away. You need to allow yourself time to focus on you and what you want, giving yourself time to adjust to this lifestyle and what you’re going through. It’s a time of discovery as you look at what’s really important in your life, so make sure you only commit yourself to these. This will help you to take other pressures off your shoulders that may lead to you trying to escape and turning to drugs or alcohol again.

This isn’t a race, it’s a journey that you’ll need to take day by day as you rediscover who you are and adjust to a life without an addiction.

Alice Tomlinson knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse, though she didn’t quite envision her career as a substance abuse nurse. A tough job, Alice hopes to raise understanding and awareness through her articles.

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