Your first year of sobriety will be filled with new moments and experiences that you must navigate using the tools and skills you gained during treatment. The new sober life you envisioned may not always be filled with moments of joy and happiness but utilizing the new skills and staying dedicated will lead you through even the toughest times. Instead of letting these new experiences defeat you, allow yourself to embrace and learn from them. Here are a few moments you may experience during your first year sober.
1. You have to address your mistakes. While you were in active addiction, you may have pushed blame on others or done things you aren’t proud of. Facing these things and accepting them as part of your past will allow you to move forward without carrying baggage. Everyone makes mistakes. It does not mean that you are wrong in every situation in your life, but when you are, instead of deflecting, becoming defensive, or running from the situation, face the truth and grow from it. Addressing situations where you are at fault shows maturity and allows you to continue striving to be the best version of yourself you can be.
2. Sobriety will not always be the happiest of moments. In the beginning of your recovery, your emotions can be all over the place. It is common for these feelings of initial excitement to calm down once you realize some of the realities in your newfound sober life. Living clean and sober brings to light all the ways you depended on illicit substances to cope. Instead of dwelling on the negative, learn to process them in a positive way that will benefit your future. You have the power to change your own perception and redirect your energy. Your time and energy are too valuable to waste on being negative and limiting yourself.
3. Situations in your life will change. As you continue on your path, you must re-accommodate yourself with the realities of the real world. When you’re newly sober, it may seem overwhelming but remember to take it one day at a time. No matter what life brings you, you must be mindful and make the best decisions for you and your future. Although you may not be able to anticipate all the changes sober life may bring, you are equipped to handle anything that comes your way. Draw on what you have learned in your addiction recovery treatment to push through anything you may face.
Your first year sober is the time in your life where you will truly experience a life without drugs and alcohol. Although you may be afraid of the threat of relapse during this year, you can maintain your sobriety by remembering all that you have learned in recovery. It may be intimidating at first but you must continue to pursue your path to recovery.