The path to sobriety is not an easy one. Anyone who has not had to go through addiction may find it hard to understand why an addict does not just stop drinking, eating or taking drugs. Yet, overcoming addiction is one of the hardest things to do, and it takes a lot of will power to achieve full recovery.
Some people argue that full recovery is not even possible because every single day is a struggle for an ex-addict. That is why it is not uncommon to hear them give the exact timelines for their sobriety; “I have been sober for 10 years, 3 months, five days.” It may sound strange, but they know the chance of a relapse is very high, and keeping score gives them a sense of achievement.
That is why aftercare for a recovering addict is very important. We will share with you 5 tips for newly sober men. If you are a recovering addict, our tips will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Attend support group meetings
It is essential for a recovering addict to join support groups. Experts recommend that newly sober people attend 12 step meetings because it will give guidelines and coping skills for overcoming addiction. The guidelines are a creation of Alcoholics Anonymous and have been extremely beneficial to recovering addicts.
The 12 steps focus a lot on introspection, a belief in a greater power, spiritual awakening among others.
These groups also encourage recovering addicts to have sponsors or accountability partners. Remember, this is a difficult journey, and trying to walk it alone may not work.
It is important that you keep busy at all times. Now is the time to actively look for things to do. If you work, make sure you have something to do afterwards. You could hit the gym, take an evening course, start a side gig or even work on your hobbies.
It is not a good idea to be idle, because you will get the urge to drink to fill up the hours. Boredom is a leading cause for relapse, and many recovering addicts grapple with this issue.
Remove the clutter from your life
Just as you would de-clutter your home, you need to do the same with your life. The truth of the matter is some of the friends and relationships you had during your days of addiction, will have to go. Now is the moment for you to take a step back, and look at your relationships with a clinical eye. Identify those that are toxic and make the decision to cut them off.
Cutting people off is not easy, but hanging out with your drinking buddies will make you fall right back into drinking. While you may be able to resist drinking initially, you may eventually give in. Be especially wary of guys who seem to enjoy testing your resolve.
You may also need to distance yourself from enablers. You know those people who would help you make excuses anytime you had too much to drink, that aunt or sibling who would buy you your drug of choice? You can no longer afford to surround yourself with such people.
Work on our mental, physical and economic well-being
Addiction has an impact on all aspects of one’s life. During the period of addiction, the individual does not have the time or inclination to take care of his physical health. Basic wellness routines like exercising, medical checks among others take a back seat. Few addicts are able to maintain jobs or other income-earning activities.
Once you achieve sobriety, you will need to work on all aspects of your life. Taking care of your physical well being will mean making and keeping appointments with your doctor, joining a gym or taking up physical activity.
Taking care of our economic well being will require that you start to look for work as soon as you can. Also, keep up with the sessions with your therapist to allow you to work on your mental well-being.
Addiction will mean that some people will have cut you out of their lives. You may have stolen from some of them to be able to afford your habits. You will need to humble yourself and ask forgiveness
Take time to learn more about addiction. Educate yourself on things like what could make you fall off the wagon, how to maintain your sobriety, and the importance of proper aftercare, among others.
By learning about your condition, you will equip yourself with coping skills and are less likely to relapse.
Good on you man, you have taken steps to achieve sobriety and are on the path to making your life better. However, it is easy to relapse if you do not take good care of yourself. Have a good support group, cut out toxic people from your life, take care of our wellbeing and educate yourself.