When I was newly sober it often felt like the little things were what got me through. I was pretty much just stringing along these small experiences in order to stay sober for one more day. When I think back on what those first months were like it was really difficult. I moved to a new place where I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t really want to talk to my old friends anymore. Also, it was just hard to learn a new way to live without drugs or alcohol.
1. Making One Friend at Sober Living
When I made my first close sober friend I felt so much better. Being that I didn’t know anyone where I lived, it was really nice to move into sober living because it gave me a place to meet sober people. I ended up liking a few of the people who were there with me. Even though it was nice to have a group of people I was friends with, it was even better to have at least one person who I was really close with.
Of course this doesn’t have to be someone from sober living. It could also be a good friend from a recovery meeting. When I made this one close friend I finally felt like I had someone I could share recovery with. It was nice to be able to talk about step work with someone and have someone I knew I could go to sober events with.
2. Finding Fun in Recovery
The next thing that got me through my early recovery was finding something fun to do in recovery. I was so used to having fun by partying and drinking that I didn’t know how to do anything without drugs or alcohol. When I got sober I needed to find something that I enjoyed doing just for fun.
There were a few things that I found out I really enjoyed. I started going to pool halls with friends, bowling, and mini golf. All of these things brought me a ton of joy, allowed me to be social, and they kept me wanting to be sober.
3. Meeting My Sponsor
Something that kept me going when I was newly sober was meeting my first sponsor. I started working with her and it gave me a whole new excitement for my recovery. I worked the steps with her, talked to her once a day, and went to meetings with her once a week.
One of the best parts about meeting her was that she also really supported me when I needed it. Sometimes this meant going to dinner with her and her sponsor, other times this was just being there for me to call when I needed her. Meeting this sponsor and working with her kept me on track during that first difficult year.
4. Staying Away from FOMO
This might sound silly but I mean it totally seriously. When I was in early recovery I had to find a way to stay away from that fear of missing out. I mostly did this by staying off of my old friend’s social media. Every time I looked at Facebook there were my old friends partying and drinking at all the same places I did.
When I looked at pictures of my old friends on social media it just made me feel like I was missing out on something. I had to stay away from this by unfriending them or just not looking at social media so much.
5. Creating My Program
This is really the biggest thing that kept me going when I first got sober. I had to create my own recovery program. In order to do this I went to different kinds of recovery meetings, started doing yoga, started meditating, and so much more. It really took me a while of tweaking and figuring things out but I eventually sculpted my own recovery program that was meaningful for me.
Whatever your program is, it is important to remember that you can make it yourself. Even if you go to one kind of recovery meetings there will always be things that you need to add and subtract in order to really make your recovery your own. Without everything on this list I don’t know if I would have made it through that first year!