How to Create a Sobriety Plan
A sobriety plan is essential to a solid recovery from addiction. Those who achieve lasting sobriety create a sobriety plan and stick to it. Recovering alcoholics and addicts must have structure in their lives. Without structure, it is easy to slip back into old behaviors or get bored, which is an invitation to relapse. So how can you create a sobriety plan that will start you on the path to success? Here are some simple suggestions:
1. Attend 12-step meetings: A solid sobriety plan includes 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. 12-step groups suggest that you attend at least one meeting a day for the first 90 days of sobriety. These meetings will not only help you recover by allowing you to work the steps, a plan that has helped millions of people recover from addiction, they will also allow you to meet others in sobriety, build a support system, and give you something to do every day. Go to meetings, get phone lists, get a sponsor, and join a home group. Joining a home group gives you a way to get involved in the fellowship and it also forces you to be accountable, which is something every recovering alcoholic and addict needs.
2. After care: Even if you are not involved in AA or NA, it is important to participate in some sort of aftercare when you leave inpatient treatment. Regular meetings with a therapist will enable you to work through some of the issues that are common in early sobriety like cravings, stress, and triggers. If you go to a group therapy aftercare program, it will keep you connected with others in sobriety.
3. Take care of yourself: In order to create a sobriety plan that works, it is important to take care of your health. In active addiction, many of us did not take very good care of ourselves. When we come into treatment, our bodies have often suffered from years of abuse and neglect. It is so important in sobriety to learn how to be healthy. Many of our cravings in early sobriety come from being hungry, tired or sick. Make sure you are eating good food, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly. Exercise is doubly beneficial because not only does it keep us healthy, it releases chemicals called endorphins in our brains. Endorphins are the body’s “feel-good” chemicals, and often, addicts in early sobriety have low levels of these chemicals. Exercise helps to correct this imbalance.
4. Create a support system and use it: People in early sobriety need a support system. It is vital. So many of us are used to operating on our own, that it may be difficult to reach out when we need support. That is why it is essential to create a sobriety plan that includes a solid support system. One of the great things about recovery is that everyone needs a support system, so others in sobriety are great about giving out their contact information and being available when you need them. Get phone numbers and use them!