Alcoholic rehab centers do the best job they can at rehabilitating alcoholics. But the fact is that most people who attend treatment at an alcohol rehab center will not still be sober a year after leaving. Some will, but most will not. What is the secret to success for those who do manage to find quality, long term sobriety?
One of the keys to success in early recovery is massive action. Nobody really wants to believe this and nobody wants to accept it. That is why so many alcoholics will try several times to get sober and repeatedly end up failing before they finally “get it.” No one wants to accept the truth–that staying sober is a TON of hard work, especially in early recovery.
What does massive action look like? It is continuous, positive action that represents major changes in a person’s life. They have to take this action every single day. It has to be a whole new lifestyle, a whole new set of habits that they follow. The question then becomes: Can an alcohol rehab center instill this urgency for massive action in the recovering alcoholic? If the rehab can push people to do this, then that is great. If not, then they are not really helping much.
Now this is where it gets tricky because there is a second magic ingredient other than massive action. This first trick alone will carry you far, but eventually you will need to achieve some level of balance in order to really sustain your recovery. Balance is not something that someone with 2 weeks of sobriety needs to focus on. Instead, balance is something that someone with 2 years of sobriety needs to look at. There is a huge difference and the main difference is in the timing.
In early recovery you need focus, and massive action. Forget balance. Just do the things you need to do in order to stay sober, and do them with focus and with intensity. Go way beyond what you think is necessary in order to stay sober. Use overwhelming force in order to get through early sobriety.
Then, as you transition into long term recovery, start seeking balance. Start seeking holistic growth and personal growth outside of any recovery program. You are meant to grow as a person, and this does not have to be defined by 12 step recovery necessarily.
Seek to expand beyond traditional recovery, and push yourself toward continuous growth. Nothing less will keep you sober.
Now, does your rehab center do that? It should.