Early days in recovery from addiction can be challenging. Many people report experiencing challenges managing their daily responsibilities within their lives. Effective aftercare and relapse prevention planning often includes a daily, weekly and monthly timetable developed specifically to meet the needs of the individual.
Important components of the timetable include:
It is a good idea to learn how to wake up slowly. Shocking urgent starts to the day are not ideal.
Plan to wake up a little earlier than you need to get up.
Set your alarm to music not: screeching.
When you first awake, monitor your physical state.
If you are having one of those awakenings where you are anxious, your breathing is shallow and rapid and your heart is beating quickly you need to slow yourself down and centre yourself before getting out of bed.
Breathe slowly and deeply. Count 5 when breathing in and when you are breathing out.
You may like to hold your hand on your heart while you are doing this exercise and feel tour heart slowing down.
Only when you are centered again should you get out of bed.
Days started with a shock and a rush are not ideal.
PRAYER AND MEDITATION;
Meditation and prayer are what many recovering addicts use to give them a positive start for their day.
Most people find meditation and prayer is best in the day, although this does not prevent you from deciding when is the best time of day for you.
Your practise may change as you become more used to it, and if your concept and have a higher power changes.
Many people start their day with a prayer where they ask for a drug free day. They then may go on to ask for special help for personal issues that are causing them pain or that they wish to change.
Some people ask for help to accept their higher powers will for the day and for the capacity to live a helpful and positive life.
It doesn’t matter what or who you are praying to.
Each time we pray we are admitting that we do not have all the answers for ourselves and that we are willing to ask for help.
Many people finish their day with a prayer thanking their higher power for a drug free day and for the opportunities they have had to learn and change.
Meditation is easy for some people and very difficult for others.
It has many forms including reading a daily meditation book and spending time reflecting on the reading, sitting very still and being mindful of breathing, walking or running meditation where the activity is the single focus through to using meditation tapes.
Using these and any other forms of meditation will be a matter for you to decide for yourself.
Meditation takes us away from our habitual thinking patterns and gives us some headspace to accommodate other thoughts and attitudes.
It is important to eat in the morning as part of your routine.
Many recovering addicts find out that their moods are very dependant on their diet. They find that having a good breakfast assists in getting over habitual morning negativity.
How much and what we eat is up to each individual.
Common experience suggests that foods high in sugar lead to mood swings, particularly depressive moods.
Many recovering addicts decide that early recovery is about resting and not about exercising however exercise actually assists us to relax.
It can also help clear our minds by focussing on the activity assists us to relax.
It can also help clear our minds by focussing on the activity and not on our usual thinking process.
2 or 1 Hour exercise sessions weekly is the minimum to aim for.
Swimming, running, and walking are cheap to do and can be made into a group activity to make it more fun and assist with individual resolve. Eg if we make a promise to someone else to exercise with them we are more likely to do it rather than when we just promise ourselves.
Stretching is a good way to start the day .
We should also remember to stretch and warm our muscles before we embark on any form of strenuous exercise.
Warning-It is dangerous to replace recovery with obsessive exercise.
Obsessively exercising to loose weight or to look and feel powerful is not positive.
If we believe that there is a chance that we are over-exercising we should reality check with someone who is not over-exercising themselves.
Many people find that they feel best when they complete domestic tasks early in the day.
GOING TO MEETINGS
This is essential.
Having a daily plan to attend NA meetings will give you something to organise your day around.
Boredom of lack of direction can create all kinds of problems for recovering addicts.
We may go back into our old environment or we may become stuck in old behaviour or thought patterns
We go to meetings to hear the message of recovery.
That addicts can stop using and make changes in their lives that lead to freedom from obsession and unhappiness
We learn that what works for others can work for us.
We learn that we are not alone.
We learn that helping each other can make us feel better about ourselves.
We learn that the 12 steps of recovery can take us away from our self-obsession.
TIME FOR REFLECTION
If we plan our day we can make sure that we have time for reflection.
A rushed day with no time to think about what is happening for us.
How am I feeling?
Is there something that I need to change?
I there something I need to talk about with other members?
Is there something to ring my sponsor about?
Have I handled something differently today?
Have I treated other people the way that I wanted to?
Am I able to be grateful for what I have today?
Is there an amends that I have to make today?
Is there something that I need to pray for today
It is very important that we receive adequate sleep.
Without sleep we can become very stressed when everything seems huge and hopeless.
It is sometimes very difficult to sleep.
Obviously drinking coffee late in the night, or staying up listening to loud energetic music or watching stimulating TV will not assist us in falling asleep.
It is best to develop a habit of relaxing before going to sleep.
Some people use relaxation tapes to help them relax; some people have a bath just before they go to bed.
It is best to stay in bed whilst trying to go to sleep.
Getting up, watching TV, cleaning etc don’t really help with sleepiness.
Some people find that they are more able to sleep when they have incorporated a daily exercise program into their lives.
IF AT RISK OF USING WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can contact another supportive member and talk to them, asking for advice and support.
We can go to a safe place until we can get to a meeting or contact someone for support.