In the beginning, all the repetitive use of the little quips and cliches in recovery can be annoying. They are annoying. Within the first 30-90 days, the brain is still impaired due to the abusive use of drugs and alcohol. As a result, the prefrontal cortex is still damaged, where cognitive functions live. Simply put, it means your brain isn’t ready to make any sense out of the deep knowledge which is actually hidden within all those silly sayings. You’re tired of hearing them already because you don’t know what they mean. Easy does it? First things first? For the grace of God? Quite consistently you’ll find yourself wondering what exactly you’ve gotten yourself into. When you ask, someone is likely to tell you to just take it one day at a time and keep it simple. Have faith, you’re going to get it eventually. Most unfortunately, one day, you’re going to like them, you’re going to use them, and you’re going to be that annoying person full of cliches. One day, you’ll see the look of angst on another newcomers face and remember what it was like when your head was still full of addiction before it became full of recovery. Wait for the miracle to happen, you’ll tell them. Don’t leave before it does.
H.O.W. – Honesty, Open-Mindedness, and Willingness
Honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness are considered the three keys to recovery. Along with other spiritual concepts like faith, acceptance, surrender, and humility, these three tenets are what helps an addict or alcoholic get out of the way of themselves in order to make more room for recovery.
Clean Your Side Of The Street
Taking an honest and personal inventory is not the most popular part of recovery. It can be one of the most effective. Addicts and alcoholics tend to place a lot of blame on other people in order to justify their habits. Instead of telling your neighbor to clean his yard, so to speak, you must learn to attend to your own orders of business first.
One Day At A Time
Life only happens one minute at a time. Thinking too far ahead can be a recipe for disaster, as can looking too far behind. During the beginning stages of recovery, it can feel like an overwhelming task to stay sober for 5 minutes. A lot can happen in one day. Taking life one day at a time is how you stay sober.
Keep It Simple
There’s no need to over complicate the program of recovery. Through various treatments and therapies you learn a primary rule: don’t pick up, no matter what. Recovery doesn’t need to be much more complicated than that. If you don’t do anything else right in a day, keep it simple by staying sober. The rest is details.
A famous story in AA tells the tale of a group who took it upon themselves to be the saviors of alcoholics and tasked themselves with an impossible challenge, which included a rules list 61 rules long. Recovery is about learning to have fun again and enjoy being yourself. When you start to take yourself a little too seriously, you lose sight of your humility and center. After “failing” the challenge, they wrote one final rule: don’t take yourself too seriously.