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A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

How to Stay Positive in Early Recovery

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The iconic American author and philosopher Joseph Campbell said, “Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joy is one of the most beautiful emotions that we start to get back once we recover from active addiction. However, joy does not come automatically in recovery. This is especially true in early recovery. It takes staying positive and a lot of hard work, effort, and action. The good news is that joy in recovery is like no other joy out there and is not to be missed.

I’m Out of Treatment, Now What?

Understandably, many people leaving a treatment center become overwhelmed at first. It is truly like being reborn, as, now sober, everything will be a new experience. This is true both in good times and in bad, which is why staying sober in early recovery can be so important.

Staying positive right from the beginning is a great way to shield ourselves when some of the tough times start to pop up. We must think of it like an armor. It helps to keep our defenses up. Of course, that is often easier said than done. We must take action if we are going to stay positive in early recovery.

How to Stay Positive in Early Recovery

One of the best ways to stay positive is to stick close to a pre-established post-treatment center recovery plan. These plans often include continued therapy (both group and individual), potential medication management, and staying connected to others in recovery.

There is also a saying that can often be heard in recovery: “Move a muscle, change a thought.” This means that we should try and stay active now that we have the gift of sobriety. Now, this might mean creating a new and fun exercise regimen, picking up an old hobby we abandoned due to our active addiction, or taking on a new hobby we always wanted to try. Another excellent way to stay positive in recovery is to be around others who are positive in recovery. More concisely, it means becoming part of a healthy recovery community.

Connecting With a Sober Community in Early Recovery

It is crucial to stay connected to other people in recovery, especially in the early stages. These are the people who will be able to relate when times are tough and those who will be able to help us stay positive when we begin to feel lonely or discouraged.

Also, there are many great and effective recovery communities to choose from. There are 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) and Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.), more scientific-based groups like SMART recovery, and ones with very specific religious/spiritual leanings like recovery dharma. Also, these groups have many different types of subsets that are specific for young people, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and many more.

Of course, the best way to stay positive in one of these communities is to also be active in these communities. This means being of service and helping others.

Being of Service in Early Recovery

When A.A. was first established, its co-founders, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Holbrook Smith determined that there were two essential components to successful recovery. One was relying on a Higher Power (of one’s understanding) greater than themselves, and two was helping another person stay sober.

Working with others in recovery can not only help us stay positive in recovery, as it is hard to think about our problems when we are helping others with their own, but it can also help us avoid a relapse, which is certainly a surefire way to eliminate positivity in recovery.

Many people don’t realize just how prevalent relapses are after treatment. According to the clinical thesis, Addiction Relapse Prevention, by Doctors Guenzel and McChargue, “Many studies have shown relapse rates of approximately 50% within the first 12 weeks after completion of intensive inpatient programs that often last 4 to 12 weeks or more and can cost tens of thousands of dollars.” When we work with others, these statistics can reduce drastically, and our positivity can increase exponentially.

From Early to Long-Term Sobriety, Healing With Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we believe that a recovered life is a positive life. The Dalai Lama says, “In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” In recovery, this is often called “putting on a new pair of glasses” so we can see how beautiful life can truly be.

It is important to remember that we didn’t get sober to be sour. We got sober so we could begin to live and enjoy the lives we always desired but didn’t believe we deserved. Believe us when we say we certainly do. Everyone does.

Early recovery can be rough, to say the least. This is one of the reasons that relapses often happen so soon after someone gets sober. It is important to stay positive in early recovery by remaining in a state of gratitude, connecting with other people in recovery for inspiration, and recognizing that “this too shall pass” (just to name a few options). If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the positive path to recovery. For more information about how to stay positive in early recovery, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.