Most folks can make at the onset of early sobriety is to go into it with a recovery plan made in cement. It sets them up for failure. But most people will disagree with me on this.
For those of us in recovery, our plans for a sober future are akin to promises we make to ourselves. I will use myself and those I’ve witnessed make plans as an example. First – plans are definitely fun to make. We get down and busy creating those things and even go back again and again to delete and add new stuff. It’s an exciting process – no doubt. The problem with cemented plans, and it’s a big one, is that plans are made to be broken.
This isn’t to say that the recovery plan isn’t a good one, it’s just not more convincing than drinking is. Unless certain helpful conditions are put into place, drinking alcohol is almost inevitable – even when we have a solid plan in place.
Here’s what usually happens: An addict drinks (relapses) for any number of reasons – good or bad. The addict has just violated their own recovery plan and that, in and of itself, is bad enough because the #1 item on their plan is not to drink. To make things worse – feelings of guilt, regret and disappointment nearly always follow. These are not the feelings we want supporting us while we’re trying to get sober. They hurt.
What can happen here is the relapse and the feelings that follow can create an inner environment that does not promote the best interest of the recoveree. The negative feelings we’re battling provide us with a reason WHY we should continue drinking. And that can be either the onset of a binge (a short period of drinking) or a return to drinking altogether.
What I believe can make a successful recovery plan is this: Don’t Drink. That’s it. Do Not – under any circumstance, for any person, or for any reason – Drink Alcohol. Period.
That’s only one thing to remember – one thing to adhere by. No pen and paper required
Everything else is shapeable. Go to the gym. Don’t go to the gym. Eat the cookie. Don’t eat the cookie. Clean the cat box. Clean it tomorrow. Return your brother’s/sister’s/mother/father’s call. Call them later. You get the idea … Just don’t drink.