It is common knowledge within 12 Step groups that newcomers will be advised to avoid making any major life changes in their first year of recovery. Why is this good advice? The fact is that the person in recovery will already have a lot going on, without have to deal with the stress of additional things. Once you are further along in your recovery, you will be better able to handle major life changes.
Major life changes to avoid making in your first year of recovery include:
- Starting a new romance
- Getting married
- Getting divorced
- Moving house
- Changing career
- Taking long trips
- Having a baby
- Launching a business
- Taking on added responsibilities, such as a job promotion
Reasons To Avoid Making Major Life Changes In Year One
There are many valid reasons for you to avoid making major life changes in early recovery. As already mentioned, the first year being sober can be very stressful, and there is no need to add any more stress to your life. Making the decision to get sober is monumental, and life is sobriety will be a big adjustment. Any further stress could be overwhelming. Some other reasons are: Time. It will take you a few years to adjust to life away from drugs or alcohol, and to re-discover who you are without substances as a crutch. Making a big decision in the first year can be one that you regret later down the line. Starting a new romance in that first year is possibly the riskiest thing you could do. You will be very vulnerable and it’s the kind of distraction you don’t need. Especially if you get involved with someone else also in recovery. Your first and most important priority has to be staying sober, and beginning a relationship can become a way of avoiding reality, and can lead you right back to addiction. A major life change demands most, if not all, of your attention. In this case you might be tempted to let recovery take a back seat. This is dangerous. You might start using or drinking again, just to get through the change, and think you’ll quit as soon as you’re able to cope. This will undo all your hard work getting to the point of recovery. While the advice to avoid major changes is valid, life can happen. Sometimes, you will need to make a big decision even when it is inconvenient to do so. So think of it as avoiding making any unnecessary major life changes. You may find yourself in a situation in early recovery where you have no choice but to make a major change. Waiting a year is not an option. If that happens, it is recommended that you get plenty of support from sponsors and family and friends, to reduce the stress and subsequently any risk of relapse.
Oceanfront Recovery provides a safe space for you to figure out life in recovery. If you are trying to move forward but feel held back by addiction, we get it. That’s why we designed our programs with you in mind-to help you get back what addiction took away. Call us to get started: 877-279-1777