Purposeful Journey

Staying clean is an ongoing struggle, and keeping your life on track is a challenge. Life may be
overwhelming at times, and you may fear your recovery will be tested. With the right strategies
in place, you can stay sober and make 2018 your best year yet!
Addiction is something that doesn’t go away, but it can be managed. Follow this advice to get
your life back on track.

Commit

Experts cited by Psych Central suggest the first and foremost rule in staying clean is
your wholehearted commitment. Your top priority should be focusing on making your recovery
real by attending support meetings, connecting with a sponsor, and consistently working at
keeping sober.

Prepare

Relapse happens, and while obviously you want to avoid it, understand that many
people relapse. In fact, some suffer more than one relapse. Embrace healthy coping strategies
and a healthy lifestyle to avoid a stumble, while watching for warnings in your own behavior. If
you see a relapse on the horizon, get assistance. There are smartphone apps and medical alert
systems you can use to help when you feel low, and some professionals suggest it’s wise to
keep your sponsor a push-button away.

Forgive

Put your past in the past—all of it. Your failings and mistakes made under the
influence of substances can’t be undone, but you are beginning a new life. Forgive the past and
allow yourself freedom in embracing a new beginning.
Stay positive. Recovery is full of promise, but deep down you probably harbor fears about your
future. Focus on the good that is happening in your life and embrace your goals and your fresh
start.

Structure

Organizing your days and setting priorities can be a big step in your recovery. It’ll
help you establish a healthy routine and focus your energy and time effectively. Set a daily
schedule and work to keep it.

Self-Care

Sometimes getting clean leads to being anxious to returning to everyday life. In your
excitement, you could miss important pieces of self-care. Take your time and establish good
habits. Make sure you get sufficient sleep, enjoy good eating habits, and get enough exercise.
Taking care of yourself means you’ll have enough energy and good health to stay clean.
Eliminate triggers. Removing the triggers from your life can be a key in successful recovery.
It’s likely your addiction was a major piece of your lifestyle, and your own home could be full of
triggers. Because of this, it may behoove you to get help with the process. First, ask a friend,
relative, or professional to assist you in removing everything that you associate with your
previous lifestyle. This includes any remaining drugs or alcohol, as well as any paraphernalia.
Then, give the space a good cleaning. Scent can be a powerful trigger, so wash all linens,
window coverings, and clothes in a new laundry detergent with a different scent than you’re
used to.

Support

It’s important to surround yourself with friends and family who are supportive of your
new lifestyle. Some experts advise this may mean selecting a new circle of friends if your old
group encouraged your addiction. The right people will want you to make healthy choices, and
those are the ones you should hold close. Let the others go.

Perspective

Some people define themselves by their addiction. As some professionals point
out, you are not the addiction; you are a person with an addiction. This allows you to take
control of it, rather than allowing it to control you.

Your best year yet! Make a plan for 2018 to be your turning point. Reframe your life, enlist a
support network, and keep your body and outlook healthy. With these strategies in place, you
can successfully navigate your recovery.

AUTHOR: Michael Lozovik
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