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The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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As humans we make mistakes. As alcoholics and addicts we tend to make a few extra, and being in early recovery it’s easy to make a bunch more when you’re used to living a way that is the polar opposite to the new you. Sometimes we are so used to making things up as we go that we don’t know any better until we make those mistakes to learn. Luckily, in sobriety you get to develop a good amount of sober support close to you that can help you to see some of the mistakes and keep you accountable or at least aware of the changes you seek for yourself. These are some of the 9 most common early recovery mistakes. Opinions may vary, but these come up pretty consistently.

1. You think your Drug of Choice is your only problem…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Some people in early recovery like to think the D.O.C. is the only issue. They think if they are addicted to heroin for years and stop, they think that they can easily go back to ‘just’ drinking or smoking marijuana and it won’t affect them. My hat is off to those who can, but it’s a big mistake for ‘real deal’ alcoholics and addicts.

2. You think you’re cured after 30 days in treatment…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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A 30 day stay in a treatment facility is definitely helpful to the recovery process. Going to treatment can create the foundation for the work ahead and how you transition into the life of sobriety, but to believe that is ALL you need to stay clean and sober is definitely a mistake.

3. You think you don’t need a sponsor for the 12 Steps…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Some people recover differently, and it has been said there is no monopoly on sobriety. However if you have chosen to work a 12 Step program it makes sense to do so with a sponsor who has been through the 12 Steps, more than likely with some else who has completed the 12 Steps. Thinking you can read the book and make it up as you go is not the best way to start in early recovery.

4. You focus more on work and less on your recovery…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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If you are coming out of treatment or trying to re-establish a life it makes sense that work is important. You have to relearn to be responsible. But ignoring your recovery and blowing off meetings, your sponsor, IOP or therapy for work is probably going to put your recovery out of business.

5. You get into a relationship…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Now this is an outside issue and there is no direct authority or restriction on the relationship question. That being said, the majority of experience will show that jumping into a relationship early in recovery is probably heart-break waiting to happen.

6. You think you’re ABOVE living in a halfway house…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Humility and Halfway House are two things that go hand in hand, and a little humility can go a very long way in early recovery. By thinking that you are better than living in a halfway house can easily be a mistake that makes it much harder to stay humble, and possibly harder to stay sober.

7. You stop going to a meeting because you don’t like it the first time…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Meetings are not there for your entertainment or for your ego, so it’s best to check that at the door and appreciate each meeting as an opportunity to hear a message. If you go to a meeting and decide it is a ‘bad’ meeting because you did not like the speaker, the chair, the subject or the shares and you use that as an excuse to never go back, you are depriving yourself of a chance to hear something later that could change your life based on one opinion.

8. You only hang out with people from your halfway house…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Making friends in early recovery who are also in early recovery can be useful. If you have a group of friends in your halfway house that you relate to and like being around while your home it’s not a bad thing, but it becomes more of a mistake when you ONLY hang out with those people. Finding friends with more time in sobriety and more rooted in the recovery community is a huge advantage to stepping up and moving forward.

9. You have no problem breaking ANYONE’S anonymity…

The 9 Most Common Early Recovery Mistakes

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Anonymity is a back-bone to the 12 Step Fellowships, it is part of the spiritual foundation and traditions that empower and protect the fellowships. In early recovery a very common mistake is that people freely reveal themselves and others as members of 12 Step Fellowships, in public or on social media. It is important to remember the importance of anonymity in recovery, especially for other people. My personal motto is, “Just because you tell me your business, that does not make it my business!”

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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