10 tips for Newcomers Tip #1: Make Recovery a Priority
This is a blog series that will be focusing on one tip every few days to help 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.
If you aren’t a newcomer, share this blog with a newcomer. It may be helpful to them.
First lets get a few misconceptions out if the way…
Alcohol Doesn’t Care Who You Love!
Anyone who is new in recovery needs to understand that alcohol and drug addiction is a disease, not a moral failing or a weakness of willpower or a lack in ability to just say ‘no’. Alcohol and drugs don’t care who you love, addiction will always make sure that it comes first. This isn’t about good or bad, right or wrong. It’s about being sick or well and if you are an alcoholic or an addict, you are sick as hell.
I will say this in big, bold, black letters so that it is seen clearly…. ADDICTION IS A HEALTH ISSUE NOT A MORAL ISSUE! It needs to be treated as such.
Take Your Medicine
Just like any other disease, addiction needs medicine. I’m not taking about the pharmaceutical kind either. I’m talking about treating your disease through the process of recovery.
Make your recovery a priority- Didn’t we making our drinking and drugging a priority? Now that it’s gone it should be simple to fill that hole with some healthy recovery related activities. If anything, in the beginning, you may find yourself with too much time on your hands. Don’t worry, as you rebuild your life, you will fill all that extra time up again but until then, GO TO A LOT OF MEETINGS! Get ahold of an AA or NA meeting list book and figure out what meetings you are going to go to in advance. Don’t let anything steer you from your course. A2WG has a Resource Page that lists and has links to *AA meetings, NA meetings, SMART Recovery, Celebrate Recovery and a bunch of other resources to help. There is no excuse for not knowing where a meeting is.
Your Mind is Not Your Friend
Get yourself a Big Book, an NA basic text or some other form of recovery literature. Keep your mind focused on recovery because, in the beginning, your mind will obsess about drinking and using. Remember, the same mind that’s trying to keep you sober, is the same mind that’s trying to get you drunk and high. Your mind is not your friend right now. Fill it with recovery related things.
The first time I got sober, when I wasn’t at a meeting, I was reading a piece of recovery literature. It gave me hope and made me realize the futility of the life I had been living as an active alcoholic and addict. Most importantly, meetings and recovery literature kept me out of my own head. My mind was out to kill me and “Tip One” helped me get through the early days of sobriety.
In our next blog we will be discussing Tip Two: “Taking it One Day at a Time.”
If you are new to recovery, please feel free to ask any questions in the comment box below. We are here to help.
Do you have any experiences with making recovery a priority? Please share your experience in the comment section below. Something you say may be be a lifesaving tip for a newcomer.
Peace, Love & Sobriety,
*A2WG is not affiliated with AA, NA or any other organization.