1. You are responsible for your own recovery — Nobody else can do it for you!
- going to recovery meetings
- calling your sponsor
- performing exercise regularly
2. New behaviors, attitudes and skills require practice.
The skills, knowledge and attitudes you learned at your residential treatment program are still somewhat new to you. If you have learned how to share your feelings with others and to ask for help, it is important for you to keep on practicing these skills. Do you know of any professional athletes who do not practice skills in between games and in the off season? Keep practicing the skills, attitudes and knowledge you acquired at the treatment center, and make that practice part of your after-care plan.
3. Old behaviors will quickly return unless you have new behaviors to replace them.
Have you been visiting the local bar or liquor store after work on a regular basis for the past several years? If so, that is an ingrained habit and it is an excellent idea to plan another healthy activity to take its place. Try walking in the park, going to the gym or visiting a friend in recovery instead. Old habits do not die easily or quickly. Draw up a list of the rituals you had when you were actively addicted. Replace the unhealthy old rituals and behaviors with healthier new behaviors. Be creative, have fun and ask for help from your recovery friends.
4. You are setting a good example for your peers and for society.
It is an absolute gift to be able to recover from the life-threatening illness of addiction. If your peers see you working hard on your recovery program, they can use that as an example to work hard on their own recovery programs. If the people in your community see you as an active and healthy person, they see that there is plenty of hope for those still suffering! If you want to set a good example for your peers and for society, you must follow a regimented and thoughtful after-care plan for long-term recovery.