The Five Rules of Recovery
1. Change Your Life
Changes may not be easy as ABC or 1-2-3, but here’s a way to remember the key:
• Adjust attitude: work beyond negative thoughts
• Beware people, places, and things associated with using
• Complete Honesty
Adjusting the attitude includes many things: one, realizing that a sober life is your best life; two, it means believing that every day you aren’t using is your best day. Recovery time means we need to beware people, places, and things related to us using. Developing this healthy fear will feel odd because we normally think fear means weakness or defeat. Not true. In this case, it’s raw courage that keeps up clean. Giving up the old haunts and fast friends is showing just how strong we can be.
2. Be Honest
Being honest gives the best chance to recover. That’s just how it is. Why? Being an addict means you lie like crazy: about where you’re going, what you’re getting, when you’ll be back and what you’ve done. Addicts lie to themselves about being an addict in order to continue using. This does not give those of us in recovery the right to lash out honesty about what is wrong with other people. Recovery is about is self-honesty. It is essential to keep up the honesty about yourself and your situation, keeping in mind it doesn’t arms us with the right to harm others with our honesty.
3. Ask for Help
The time to let people in has arrived. Many of us begin recovery trying to do it on our own to prove that they have control over their addiction. Guilt and shame are common emotions in addiction because we feel we don’t deserve recovery or happiness. Joining a group can help in various ways by finding out you are not alone by hearing it from others, learn how other people have done recovery and what coping skills have been successful; and get a safe place to go where they will not be judged.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is a vital and often forgotten part of recovery. Self-care is difficult because recovering individuals tend to be hard on themselves: we don’t feel they deserve to be good to themselves. Self-care is especially difficult for adult children of addict. Mindfulness, including meditation and exercise are great ways to practice self-care (link my articles). Stress and tension are common triggers for relapse: mind-body relaxation is a way of being kind to yourself. Building a new life minds finding time to relax.
5. Don’t Make Your Own Rules
One red flag is if we start to ignore the advice. Non-users admit using was fun but also that things became less fun as they used more. Consequently, they’re ready to change. Some deny they were out of control, making deals with themselves to determine when they can use.
Following these 5 Rules of Recovery doesn’t guarantee no relapse: but it does increase your odds of success dramatically. By making changes to your life, being honest, asking for help, taking care of yourself and following the rules of recovery, you’re five steps closer to living the life you deserve.
Melemis, S. M. (2015). Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 88(3), 325.