Making the decision to get clean and sober is the easy part. Actually, staying clean and sober- well that’s a different story and a huge accomplishment. It takes time, effort and sometimes a fair amount of pain and struggle. But over time, the struggles you will face, and life will become a lovely routine all over again.

Here are a few of the lessons we’ve learned in recovery. We hope that these lessons can help you as well:

  1. Stay Out of Risky Situations – This means that you can’t spend time with someone you used to use drugs with or somewhere you used to drink. You might have to find a new way home from to keep you from going past your favorite old hangout.
  2.   Find Time to Exercise – Negative moods can be a real risk to your sobriety and using drugs or alcohol can wreak havoc on your body. Find time to exercise regularly. This can be as effective as medication at easing depression and helping you feel better physically, too. Don’t like the gym or running? Try yoga or find a local trail in your area and take a walk.
  3. Find a Support Network – Like Lorraine’s House. Our mission is to create safe, structured transitional living by empowering women recovering from addiction. We are the ultimate support group and offer guidance and 12 step programs to help women in Kansas City or all over the world stay free of addiction while they are transitioning into the world all over again.
  4.  Find a Hobby or Set a Goal and Flow – Find an activity you can dive right into with both feet. Whatever it is, it should be something that challenges you – something you can work at and seek to master. It should be something that when you do it you feel alive, you can get into the groove and experience the joy of the “flow”. Something you can totally lose yourself in and forget about the temptation to use drugs or alcohol.
  5. Practice Optimism and Gratitude – Happy people manage to find opportunities, even in difficult or negative situations. Being optimistic and full of gratitude means that you might mourn and grieve losses, but you manage to not lose hope. This will help you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically.
  6. Learn How to Manage Your Urges – While the urge to use only lasts 15 – 20 minutes, it can be hard to fight them off. You can try to substitute your urge with chewing gum or a personal mantra: “I am stronger than this, and this too shall pass.”
  7. Stay Busy – This is a great way to distract yourself. And most people find it helpful to keep a journal. Write down the things that bring you job and the things that you are grateful for, then go back and read it during tough times.
  8. Don’t Live in Fear of Relapsing – Worrying about slipping back into old destructive patterns can consume your mind. Instead, focus on your strength in recovery.