Here are 3 ways to lay a solid foundation for long term sobriety:
1) Long term treatment
My number one recommendation. Long term treatment saved my life, and it could save yours, too. This is the option to use when everything else has failed. The level of support you receive while living in a long term treatment center is unparalleled. Where else can you get continuous support from a relatively safe environment that is solely focused on recovery?
Living in long term treatment also sets your life up for after you eventually leave and get out on your own. The connections, relationships, and practices that you establish while living there will carry forward and last you for the rest of your life (potentially).
In short, long term treatment facilitates the kinds of changes that tend to last for a very long time. It is a powerful resource for sobriety.
2) Total immersion in recovery network
The idea here is to totally immerse yourself in recovery, eliminating any loose ties with bad influences from your past (people you used or drank with). One way to do this is through heavy AA or NA meeting attendance. If you immerse yourself into the program, and build up a solid network of friends and associates from the meetings, then you’ll have a powerful weapon in the fight against relapse.
Attending the same meetings, day in and day out, for long periods of time can help build these associations. If you connect with some of the people, then you could build friendships in recovery that last for the rest of your life. But the key is that you have to start out strong and completely immerse yourself (hence the suggestion of 90 meeting in 90 days).
3) Make a habit of helping other addicts
This is more powerful than most people realize. If you can make a solid habit of helping other addicts and alcoholics on a regular basis, it will be very hard for you to relapse. That’s because we help ourselves more than we realize when we help other addicts to recover.
One example of this in my recovery came from a suggestion from my sponsor. He encouraged me to make a commitment to chair an NA meeting in a treatment facility each week. It was only a one hour commitment, but it made a world of difference to me at the time. And today I have become even more involved with helping addicts on a regular basis.
Helping our fellow addicts and alcoholics is relapse prevention in its purest form. Find a way to help on a regular basis, and it will strengthen your recovery immeasurably.
What about you….what has helped you lay a solid foundation for your recovery?