Addictions Addiction to a substance or behavior is complex affecting the addictive person and everyone around them. We help every individual at their unique state of development, motivation, and readiness for treatment and recovery
RECOVERY PLAN AND SKILLS
The more structure that is introduced into a recovering person’s life, the better able he or she is to manage stress and anxiety. Many entering recovery think that after the initial period of detoxification and abstinence, the hard work is complete. They are often not fully prepared for a lengthy, if not lifelong, period of healing. They are likely to experience a new level of stress as they embark on the journey of maintaining sobriety and recovery. Without adequate preparation and a plan, many chemically dependent people suffering from intense or prolonged stress are in danger of returning to what they know—chemical use—to gain relief, even if it is temporary. The 12-step programs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous advise the following basic elements of a plan to assist the recovering person through this time.
• Employment: A job that is satisfying and that will enable you to be productive and meet your basic needs. Seek right-livelihood.
• Housing: A place to live that is safe, suitable, and affordable.
• Personal Growth and Development: To maintain a sober way of life which in turn reinforces good feelings. Find ways of helping others who will in turn understand and appreciate you.
• Social Life: To have supportive friends and good companionship; to share social activities and entertainment. Set boundaries. Organize your time. Avoid old friends, places and situations that remind you of your addiction. Recognize your limits and do not take on too much. Set priorities and take care of important things first. Make sobriety your first priority.
• Total use of free time: Something to do, somewhere to go, someone to meet. Attending meetings frequently is helpful.
• Spiritual life: Develop and maintain a relationship with your own personal Higher Power. Make an effort to grow spiritually. Learn to appreciate and nurture your inner self. Do your best to keep a positive attitude and practice gratitude. Seek to gain insight and perspective in life. Make time for laughter and play.
• Exercise regularly: Aerobic exercise for 20-30 minutes three to four times per week helps reduce stress, increases metabolism, speeds healing, can aid sleep and helps alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that those involved in a regular exercise program have higher recovery rates than those who do not.
• Eat well-balanced meals: Most chemically dependent people neglect their nutritional needs. Maintaining a healthy diet allows the body (and brain) to heal. Consider taking a multivitamin supplement, especially one with amino acids. Avoid sugars, nicotine and caffeine. Consult with a physician or dietitian.
• Sleep, rest, relax, meditate: Get on a regular schedule for bedtime and awakening times. Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Avoid taking sedatives or sleeping pills. Have an active day. Schedule time for meditation. Learn and practice relaxation techniques.
Skills to Be Addressed
Taking inventory of your daily life:
1. What are your plans for the day? 2. How are you doing and feeling? 3. Are you keeping any secrets? 4. Are you making time for prayer and meditation in your life? 5. Do you have someone to call if you are feeling shaky? 6. Can you ask significant others about their observations regarding your behaviors, feelings and mood changes that may be clues to possible vulnerability to relapse?
Your therapist or sponsor will help you address those areas in your life in need of support, and help you build a routine which will nourish you and reinforce your recovery. Strong and healthy support from others will also assist you to increase your mindfulness and enable you to stay focused on your daily recovery skills.
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