“God helps those who help themselves.”
– Algernon Sidney
At a recent recovery meeting I attended, the topic of “tips that have helped you get and stay clean/sober” arose. And since we’re in the midst of the holidays with a New Year approaching, I thought it would be a perfect time—especially for those currently in an alcohol or drug treatment program—to express some of what people shared “works for them.” So without further ado, here are some hopefully helpful, empowering tips for anyone in recovery, rehab or a treatment center to “beef up” their New Year’s commitment to staying ‘clean and serene.’
1. “I’m inspired by the saying, ‘Keep coming back!’ It reminds me that no matter how I’m feeling or what’s going on in my head—especially about whether or not to ‘keep doing recovery’—staying involved by following through with my treatment plan and committed meeting attendance WILL help me recover. I just need to follow through and keep coming back!”
2. “I feel regular contact with my recovery network in rehab, the treatment staff and my 12 Step sponsor have been and are all essential to my recovery. If it weren’t for the people who’ve supported and guided me along my journey in recovery from addiction, I’d have stayed lost in ‘doing things my way,’ which never produced good results. Not only could I never stay clean on my own, my life always spiraled out of control and took me down… bad! As well as those I hurt as I kept using and running amok. It was only with the help of others—the people in the drug treatment program I’m in, my sponsor and my recovery network—that I learned how to get clean and stay clean, one day at a time”
3. “There are so many tools in recovery I use every day, it’s hard to single out one. And I believe I’ve got to use all of them regularly, so they don’t just sit around and collect dust or start to rust from disuse. But the one that’s standing out in my mind right now is being of service to others, especially those in recovery from addiction. When I’m being of service—whether it’s sharing my experience, strength and hope at a meeting, making coffee, setting up chairs or just listening with empathy and compassion to a fellow recovering addict in treatment while he shares his fear or pain—I feel as though I’m connected at the hip to a powerful force of good that flows throughout the collective group in my treatment center and the 12 Step fellowship meetings I attend. And as long as I stay aligned with that force—and service always helps me feel that alignment—I know my recovery is growing stronger.”
4. “For me, it all comes down to my connection with my Higher Power. And what I’m finding is that so many of the action steps I take in treatment or at the suggestion of my sponsor lead me into a greater sense f that Higher Power working in my life. In other words, when I’m ‘doing the program’ the treatment staff have laid out for me, whether for the group I’m in or me individually, or any of the 12 Step work I do privately with my sponsor, it’s amazing to me how surrendering and ‘just doing the work’ of recovery has brought me closer to God, which is the name I give my Higher Power. Yeah, I think everything I do to strengthen and clarify my conscious contact with God has made all the difference in how I value and am grateful for my daily recovery.”
May you commit to carrying at least one (or all) of these inspiring “recovery tips” forward with you into the New Year!!!