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Lee House Blog


Building Basic Structure and Routine in Early Recovery: I

One truth that hits most people almost the minute they leave a treatment program for addiction and arrive at a recovery residence like Lee House is: “I still need help and don’t really know how to do this recovery thing”. This is a natural fear with plenty of good reasons. Most important among them is the fact that you’re so new to being clean and sober that you haven’t yet become comfortable in recovery or in practicing recovery skills. There’s so much that gets thrown at you when you return to your own choices, family interactions, maybe a new job and new friends. Sometimes – often, in fact, it’s just too much. Without structure, and someone to help you build it, your recovery may either be very difficult to maintain or more likely, it could collapse. Over the next several weeks, we'll offer some ideas that we believe are high priority in recovery and most importantly, highly effective.

We’ve put together 12 tips and techniques that have worked for many people in recovery, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t come up with some equally effective ones on your own. Our experience in recovery does suggest that discussing your own ideas with your mentor, recovery sponsor, or sober-living director, is a good practice as you begin this new journey. Remember, there are no tests you have to take, no one you must answer to, and nothing to prove – except maybe to yourself. Recovery is ultimately in your hands. Your experienced sponsor and Your Lee House Recovery Residence Director can help guide you along the way!

Here we go!

1. Simplify your daily schedule: Too many duties, chores, assignments, projects, or to-do lists that you endlessly draw up and fail to complete will only serve to leave you frustrated, disappointed, angry, or depressed. The best thing you can do in your first weeks and months of recovery is to simplify your life. Eliminate all but the essential activities or duties from your daily schedule – especially for the first 90 days. Why is that? Addiction recovery specialists say that the first three months are the most critical. It’s during this time that many well-intentioned persons in recovery have a slip, or full-blown relapse due to falling back into pre-sobriety routines that get them into trouble, or they give up under the pressure of a few cravings or urges that they’re ill-equipped to cope with.

How can you go about simplifying your daily schedule? Ask yourself what is absolutely mandatory that you do today. If you’re unsure, you probably don’t need to do it, so scratch it off your list. If you can go either way or if, for example, your job doesn’t depend on you doing it, cross it off. If you wind up with only one or two things you simply must do, that’s a great start.

Its a good day to have a good day! We'll post more in two weeks, be well.

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