People tend to neglect themselves and their responsibilities during active addiction. Cleanliness becomes less of a priority, bills go unpaid, and relationships are neglected. It is unrealistic to think that all of these issues can be addressed and repaired as soon as someone gets clean.
In early recovery, the primary focus should be on putting down the alcohol or other drugs and staying clean throughout each day. This is a process that takes time and effort. Attending to daily responsibilities comes next.
Finding Balance in Early Addiction Recovery
One of the benefits of long-term recovery is that people learn to have fun and connect with others. Over time, lives become full. Factor in employment, relationships, children and other responsibilities, and days can get busy.
Finding a perfect harmony between responsibilities, leisure and active recovery is unrealistic. Work deadlines and family emergencies may temporarily take precedence over other aspects of a routine; however, finding a measure of balance is possible if you have a foundation that allows you to meet priorities without dropping other responsibilities.
Methods to Maintain Recovery
Even when other situations need your full attention, it is possible to keep recovery present on a daily basis. Here are some techniques to keep recovery at the forefront while also attending to other responsibilities:
- Start each morning with a positive attitude. Remember that you have made it this far and will continue moving forward as long as you use the skills you gained in recovery.
- Make time for prayer and/or meditation in the mornings and at night. This can be as simple as reading a daily meditation or asking a higher power for guidance.
- Review your thoughts and actions at the end of each day. Ask yourself what you did well and what you need to work on. Make a personal commitment to better yourself.
- Attend 12-step meetings, Refuge Recovery, SMART meetings, or another support group on a regular basis. Connect with your support network in person or on the phone if you cannot get to a meeting.
- If you feel pessimistic or find yourself wanting to give up, write a gratitude list. This can help you remember what you have gained in recovery and what you are working toward.
Remember to keep it simple in the beginning. Focus on staying clean and learning how to live without the use of substances or replacement behaviors. As this becomes a natural process, people find their lives becoming full with activities, relationships and responsibilities. Life can become overwhelming, but with a solid foundation and daily attention to recovery, it is possible to meet responsibilities and stay clean throughout a lifetime.