10 Tips for Newcomers, Tip #4: Change Your Environment

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Newcomer Tip #4: Changing Your Environment

This is a blog series that will be focusing on one tip every few days for newcomers. These tips are not a replacement for going to meetings and working the 12 steps. They are to be used in addition to meetings and steps. The first few months of sobriety are hard. These are some ways to help get you through it.

The last blog was about communication. Today we will discuss our environment.

It’s all About the Positive
  • Positive People
  • Positive Things
  • Positive Experiences

  1. Positive People

Studies show  that both positive and negative emotions are “catchy.” Simply put, when you hang out with happy people, you tend to feel happier, have more energy, and feel less stressed.

What’s interesting is statistics also show that negative emotions transfer easier than positive emotions. Have you ever been around someone that complains all the time and basically has a glass half empty attitude? It leaves you emotionally drained. They can suck the happiness right out of you.

When you are newly sober, trying to deal with the roller coaster ride of emotions is bad enough. Don’t add emotional vampires to the list of things to deal with. Find a group of positive women to hang out with. Do fun things. Laugh! Your life is about to become amazing.

  1. Positive Things

origami flower makingWhat do you like to do? What are your hobbies? Those were two questions that were posed to me in early recovery. I opened my mouth to answer and I couldn’t come up with anything. For over 20 years I drank and drugged. That was my hobby.

Do you know what is  a cool thing to do in recovery? Finding out what you like to do sober. I was at an A2WG event 4 years ago and we were making origami flowers. Now I don’t consider myself a “crafty” person but I really enjoyed making my flower. I was super proud of it. I took pictures of it and posted it on Facebook. Who knew origami flower making was going to be on the list of things I enjoyed?!? That isn’t me with the flower, it’s my friend Hannah but she makes a much better model than me. Trust Me!

Try out new and different things. Just keep an open mind. Many of the things I thought were going to be lame, have turned out to be really fun, especially when I’m doing them with a group of women and we’re laughing and chatting.

  1. Positive Experiences

Search out cultural events and activities in your area that can stimulate your body and mind in a new, exciting – and healthy way. In the beginning its best to stay away from events with alcohol at them, at least until you’ve done some serious 12 step work and the obsession has been removed.

We live in Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor has a multitude of activities. Pick up a copy of The Ann Arbor Observer. There is something going on here almost everyday and if you are short on cash, there are a ton of free events. The Ann Arbor District Library has many interesting and free events. And let’s not forget that A2WG has free, low-cost or scholarship-based events every month and retreats three times a year. Honestly, with all of the things going on here, and all those links I just gave you, if you are bored in Ann Arbor… maybe you are just boring. 😉

We Aren’t a Glum LotRecover outloud

I don’t know about you but I didn’t get sober to be miserable, and thank God I’m not. If I were just white knuckling sobriety, trying to do it on my own…well, I wouldn’t make it long like that. I’ve tried it. The truth is, I’m way happier sober then I ever was drinking. I never thought that would be possible when I was in early sobriety. I used to think, “I’ll never have fun again!!!” I couldn’t have been more wrong. Happiness is right around the corner. It’s coming. I promise.

“But we aren’t a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn’t want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.” *Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 132

I absolutely insist on it too!

What are some of the positive things or experiences you’ve tried in sobriety? Is there a really positive person in your life right now? Sharing your experience may give someone else an idea to work with. I shared about the origami flower… 🙂 Your turn!

Tomorrow we will be discussing Tip Five: Getting Higher Powered.


Peace, Love & Sobriety

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*A2WG is not affiliated with AA or any other organization.


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