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Steps to Happiness in Early Recovery

Overcoming addiction has never been easy for anyone. Just thinking about it isn’t enough to succeed and prevent yourself from relapsing. Recovery is like a staircase – in order to get to the top you have to start from the very bottom. One of things that addicts find the hardest to acquire is the feeling of peace and happiness.

So, what could be the best steps to take for someone in recovery in order to feel happy?

1. Find Peace Within Yourself

A good starting point in this case would be to truly commit yourself to recovery. Once you decide to sober up, don’t question your decision and don’t turn back. Also, figure out your reasons to stay sober and why it’s worth it.

Moreover, don’t try to run away from your struggles or judge them, but rather, accept and observe them in order to understand yourself and acquire new coping skills.

2. Ask for and Attempt Forgiveness

To err is human; to forgive is divine (“An Essay on Criticism,” by Alexander Pope). If you are attempting this step, first and foremost would be to forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but constantly punishing yourself for them will not get you anywhere. Recognize your mistakes, accept them and learn from them.

Also, don’t forget to ask for forgiveness from people whom you have hurt while in addiction. Those could be both family members and friends. Making amends with them will give you inner strength to continue with recovery and feel loved and worthy.

3. Goal-Setting

Setting goals is a vital step in moving forward and filling your life with contentment and purpose. Moreover, it is a key to making other positive things happen. The future at the beginning of your recovery is a blank slate, and it is up to you what to aim for and how to work towards it.

4. Constant Positive Attitude

As one of the Sober Grid users recently posted, “My Sobriety has to come first, so that everything I love in life does not have to come last”. When you are optimistic about your recovery, it will be much easier. Waking up every morning with the feeling of a new day and another chance is 50% of making the day count! Tell yourself that you are unique and amazing; that you are strong enough to achieve what you strive for; and that you love yourself and the world.

5. Get a Good Rest

What did your sleeping schedule look like when you were using? The answer would be – messed up or non-existent. It will definitely be surprising to experience the contrast of getting yourself into a pattern of sleeping for 8-9 hours every night. It can result in higher energy levels, less of mood swings, sharper mental alertness, stronger resistance to illnesses, and more.

Moreover, plan for short periods of light relaxation during the day. Be it a walk, daily meals, looking out of the window (especially useful nowadays for people who work with computers which puts lots of strain on the eyes), a short chat with someone, it should be present on daily basics to help you recharge and go on with your day.

6. Help Others

Do to others as you would like them to do to you (Luke 6:31). This small sentence carries so much sense that, at times, it makes you overthink a lot of moments from your life. Helping others will give you a feeling of worthiness, and will make people look up to you and admire you. Selfless assistance in regards to those who need it is one of the things that will make your life more meaningful and will bring more light to this world.

Smile every chance you get. Not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have and all the problems you know you don’t have. - Unknown

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