Recovery can begin in many different ways. Some may be forced into recovery by court, while others may choose to go into treatment. No matter how you entered recovery if you are making the choice to stay in recovery and truly get clean then you will not be walking alone. Recovery, while a personal decision, requires a great deal of support from others. Recovery means you are restarting your life and building from the ground up. This is not an easy feat and there are people who can help you along the way. This is why building and maintaining a strong support system is so important.
The friends you had while in active addiction will be unlikely to remain friends in recovery. While this can seem like a big loss at first. Your new life is much more important than those that can ruin recovery. For some this may also mean moving away from family as they could also be addicts.
Recovery is so much more than refraining from using drugs or alcohol or whatever you are addicted to in life. Recovery is a process of change through which an individual achieves wellness. Additionally, the individual can achieve wellness, improved physical and mental health, and a better quality of life. Recovery is long term and wellness centered. In fact, expecting someone to detox and then expecting them to go on and never relapse is unrealistic. This does not mean that the relapse will be extreme, but it is likely for anyone starting in recovery to slip up. For those in treatment or providing treatment this means that the whole person must be treated, not just the addiction.
One important way to maintain recovery and lessen the chance of an extreme relapse is through the development of new connections and a support system. This means old friends or family members who are still using will need to be removed from your life or strong boundaries set. New friends should be clean and sober. Additionally, a new environment may be helpful. Moving away from those who you used to use with can make it easier to stay in recovery. The connections that one has can be with friends and family as long as they are supportive of recovery. These relationships should first and foremost be substance or addiction free, supportive, and be fully honest.
The honesty aspect is of great importance. This means that those in your support circle need to be totally honest with you and that you need to do the same for them. This rigorous form of honesty allows you to know that that person will be honest with you and you can be honest with them if you need help or relapse. This support system will be made up of those who you can trust to offer support when you need it most. Sometimes it may be difficult to be totally honest with someone else, but this is an aspect of staying in recovery. If you do not lie then you do not have to worry about others finding out the truth.
If you have made the first steps into recovery than the real work can begin. Start building your support system immediately as these individuals will help you stay in recovery long term. Choose wisely as these people will be your go to support when times get tough.
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