How to Create a Plan for Your Recovery

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Maintaining sobriety without a plan is nearly impossible. You may struggle with sticking to your commitment to sober living if you do not have things clearly thought out. Upon discharge from treatment, you likely worked on an aftercare plan with your staff. What were the key parts of this plan? Have you been continuing to work on your aftercare or have things gotten away from you? When you return home from treatment, the real work for recovery begins. Now you are responsible for holding yourself accountable. Without a concrete plan for recovery, you are risking relapse. You risk losing the results of all the hard work that you have put in up to this point. To be successful, create a plan for yourself to maintain sobriety.

Goals in Recovery and Sobriety

What are your goals for recovery and sobriety? What things were you seeking to change during your treatment? You may have been focused on getting sober first and foremost. You may not have had goals beyond getting clean and sober until you got into treatment. Goals are actionable steps that you take to continue in your recovery. Saying that you want to remain clean and sober is not enough: how are you going to do it? Creating a plan for aftercare should include these items:

Trigger Management

During treatment, you likely discussed and identified triggers for your addictions. What were they? List any major triggers in your life. For each trigger, you may need a strategy to manage each one separately. Sometimes, the strategy for one trigger may work for another. For example, if you are triggered by boredom and surrounding yourself by the wrong people, then joining a 12-step or other support group can help to keep you busy and bring more positive people into your life. You may be triggered due to underlying issues of trauma or other mental health issues. What will you do to continue working on your mental health? Will you be seeking further treatment? How often? Be specific in your aftercare planning for better outcomes and success.

Support System

Having a list handy of your support network and their contact information is incredibly valuable for your recovery. Keep a list of your main supports and continue working on building a strong support network. Identify each person in your support system and how each one is helpful to you. For example, you may have a friend, who is always telling you funny stories or jokes. This person can help you by telling a joke when you are feeling down! Other people, like sponsors or other mentors, might be providing more structured support for you. Your family members can also be part of your support team and anyone that you would call in case of an emergency.

Remember to keep maintaining healthy relationships in recovery. Your support system is helpful to you. Be grateful for those who care for you and remind them of how helpful their support is. A simple “thank you” is often what most people need to hear. You can also offer to help them to express your gratitude. Try to stay in touch with them when you are doing well. You might only be reaching out when you are in a crisis or struggling. Remain in contact when things are going well. Your support network and friends would also love to hear how happy and productive you are! If you struggle with staying in touch with people, keep a schedule of those important to you and reach out to say “hello” regularly. A simple text message or phone call weekly can help you maintain these important relationships!

Life Goals

What do you want out of life overall? What is your driving purpose and passion? This is what recovery is really all about! Maintaining sobriety and being clean is important, however, you have to look beyond for the motivation needed to continue in recovery. What is most important to you? Life goals can be simple. You may want to be the best parent that you can be or help other people in recovery. You might have more complex goals, like going to college or writing a book. These goals will drive you to succeed and maintain your recovery. After all, these are the things you were likely neglecting due to your addictions. Continue to pursue your dreams and lead a happy, healthy life in recovery!

Creating a plan for your recovery can help you stay accountable for what you want from life and sobriety. When we neglect to plan for our recovery, we leave ourselves open to slip up and relapse. By planning ahead and taking proactive steps to recovery, we can increase our chances of success in recovery. Who are the people in your corner? Having supportive friends can help you achieve your goals and remain accountable to your actions. Remember that recovery is about more than just sober living. You are also looking forward to living the life of your dreams. What motivates you? What do you want out of life? Look at the big picture beyond treatment and sobriety. What are you striving towards? These bigger goals can help you maintain your sobriety. Everlast Recovery Centers are here to help you plan for success upon discharge from treatment. Call us today at 866-DETOX-25.

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