Keep it Simple Your First Year Sober
Getting sober is an amazing accomplishment, and it opens up a whole new world of opportunities. While you were in active addiction, all of your goals and dreams may have been put on hold, and some of your relationships may have been damaged in the process. So, when you get sober, it’s natural to want to go after the goals you’ve always dreamed of achieving, but sometimes, it’s best to keep things simple in your first year of recovery.
No Major Decisions Your First Year
If you’re in early recovery, you’ve probably heard many people, from your therapist to people in 12-step meetings, recommend that you stay single in your first year. The reality is that it’s not about staying single your first year, but it’s more about keeping things simple. The root of the advice is to not make any major decisions your first year sober, and there are good reasons for this. Not only are you still trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do, but you’re also in a very delicate position your first year sober.
While relapse is completely preventable when you’re sticking to your program and taking suggestions, it still happens more than it should. One of the biggest reasons for this is because people add a lot of unnecessary stress to their lives the first year. It’s important to remember that major decisions come with new stresses and risk factors. It’s great to go into a new relationship with optimism, but relationships take work and are sometimes difficult to navigate. A small argument or fight may have the potential to lead to intense cravings, so it’s best to just avoid that scenario entirely.
Next, you need to think about your employment. Maybe, in your sobriety, you’re realizing the career you have isn’t one that you want to stick with. You should absolutely begin thinking about a career path that will be fulfilling and gratifying, but it’s best to not switch careers during this first year as well. Some people make the mistake of quitting their job and putting themself under a lot of financial pressure because they didn’t think the whole process through.
You Have Plenty of Time
Remember, sobriety is a marathon, not a sprint. One of the symptoms of people who struggle with addiction is impulsivity. Patience is something that many people have to work on, but it’s especially true for those in recovery. You must remember that now that you’re sober, you have your whole life ahead of you, and there’s no need to rush into any decisions. You can take your time, and think about the decisions you want to make. This can involve switching careers, going back to school or even moving to a new city. But during that first year, it’s best to keep it simple and focus on your recovery.
Make Your Recovery the Priority
During this first year, your recovery should be your top priority. Once you develop healthy habits and have a solid foundation for your recovery as well as a strong support group, you’ll be in a better position to make big decisions. Through 12-step fellowships, talking with a sponsor and using other methods of support, you can get input and feedback about major decisions and can rest assured that you’re making a good choice.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, allow Enlightened Solutions to help by giving us a call today at 833-233-7336.