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Resource | Lessons Learned

Early Recovery: What to Do When You Transition Out of Treatment

Prioritize – What areas do you need to focus on right now? Need to find a job? Need to find a sponsor? Write down what needs to get done and start planning how you can do it!

Be accountable to someone-  Find a sponsor/support who will hold you accountable for when you give your word you will be somewhere or do something. Accountability is very beneficial early on. When you promise someone you look up to you are much more likely to follow through!

Be kind to yourself Early recovery is a very emotional time in life, we are just beginning to sort out our hectic past, while doing that you may have some bad memories that you beat yourself over with. Remind yourself where you are today, what you are doing about it and why you are doing it. Positive self affirmations really can work wonders if used consistently. We need to start to love ourselves again!

Take action – Action, action, action. There is always something that can be done in early recovery, whether its go to a meeting, do some step work, find a job, exercise, help a friend. Stay busy! My worst days early on were those days where I did nothing but sit in my own thoughts, a very ugly place to be. My best days are when I stayed productive in any way possible. Again, there is always something you can do for yourself or others.

Feelings aren’t facts – Since I brought up our thoughts, we must acknowledge how ugly our thoughts can be sometimes. Give me an hour to myself and my mind has told me 15 different terrible things about myself, it’s just what our addict mind does! When you are having those thoughts, discuss it with someone and write it off as fiction. We learn to plug into something other than our minds in recovery, a new power we like to call it. Our thinking mind will always try to steer us wrong. Don’t let it!

Avoid distractionsThere are so many distractions we can find early on in recovery. Entering a relationship, playing too many video games, sitting on social media all day. Forget that stuff for now! You have a life you need to save that is worth saving! Distractions and excuses will come your way, it is up to you to dismiss them and get what needs to be done.

Respect your friends and family – There is a lot of stigma that comes along with being an addict, it is up to you to show those in your life that the stereotypes are not true. Now that you are in recovery, you are representing all walks of life in recovery. Show your friends and family how great being in recovery can be and how much of your life can change.

Go all-in – Recovery demands your all, half measures will avail us nothing. In recovery, you get out what you put in, give it your heart and soul and I promise it will be the greatest thing you have ever done in your life.


These lessons are contributed by Daniel Wittler. In recovery for nearly four years, Daniel is an Outreach Specialist for Recovery Local, a local addiction/recovery based marketing company. He advocates long-term sobriety by writing for websites like Journey Pure, providing resources to recovering addicts and shedding light on the disease of addiction. Daniel believes that absolutely anyone can get sober provided they are ready to take action in their own life.