The First Rule of Recovery

You don’t recover from an addiction by stopping cold turkey. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. If you don’t create a new life, then all the factors that brought you to your addiction will eventually catch up with you again. You don’t have to change everything in your life. But there are a few things and behaviors that have been getting you into trouble, and they will continue to get you into trouble until you let them go. The more you try to hold onto your old life in recovery, the less well you will do.

If you focus on results, change won’t happen. If you focus on change, results will happen.

Avoid High-Risk Situations

Some common high-risk situations are described by the acronym, HALT:

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

Here are the three most common things that people need to change in order to achieve recovery.

1. Learn to Relax

There are only a few reasons why people use drugs and alcohol. They use to escape, relax, and reward themselves. In other words, people use drugs and alcohol to relieve tension.

2. Be Honest

An addiction requires lying. You have to lie about getting your drug, using it, hiding its consequences, and planning your next relapse. An addiction is full of lies. By the time you’ve developed an addiction, lying comes easily to you. After a while you get so good at lying that you end up lying to yourself. That’s why addicts don’t know who they are or what they believe in.

3. The Chance to Change Your Life

Your addiction has given you the opportunity to change your life. Changing your life is what makes recovery both difficult and rewarding. Recovery is difficult because you have to change your life, and all change is difficult, even good change. Recovery is rewarding because you get the chance to change your life. Most people sleepwalk through life. They don’t think about who they are or what they want to be, and then one day they wake up and wonder why they aren’t happy.

People in recovery have proven to themselves their strength, perseverance, and ability to rise above challenges. Focus on your recovery and your life will change.

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