What you can Expect in Sobriety
The first year sobriety is a full time job, however, it is important to reintegrate back into the work place and other activities. For the first year, sobriety is draining. Most people attend a treatment program and then some kind of sober living or extended care plan. This process alone can take up to a year. Although, treatment is a time to relax and focus just on your sobriety, once you leave a treatment center and enter a sober living it is important to keep busy. Many people for the first couple months after they leave treatment will attend an outpatient program. During this time it is nearly impossible to get a job, but it might interest the individual to start looking for one. Yes, most likely after outpatient while in sober living it will be recommended to go to an AA meeting every day. However, one meeting a day leaves your schedule pretty open, and most places will recommend keeping as busy as possible.
During the first year of sobriety, recovery should be the primary focus, but little by little addicts should begin other activities that interest them. Directly after outpatient it might seem overwhelming to get a job. So take things slowly. Look for one and don’t commit to anything right away. Go to a meeting every day, call your sponsor every day, and use the support system and after care program around you for support in figuring out what to do. A great thing to do during this period is to begin working the steps with your sponsor, and take at least two commitments at meetings you like. Establish a home group and explore AA meetings, NA meetings, and whatever else interests you. Another great way to prepare yourself for reintegration later is to start doing things you love again. For instance, if you love to paint start painting again. If you want to take a dance class do that. Keep busy and do what you love.
After you feel your support system is strong and you are rooted in sobriety it is important to recommit to your normal activities such as work. Work can be a great place to quiet your alcoholic mind, practice living amends, and fellowship with coworkers. The principals of AA say to practice them in all of our affairs; work is a great place to start. Work adds structure to your day, and is a good place to get out of your head. Because many addicts are highly intelligent it is important to engage the mind intellectually and challenge yourself. Boredom is very dangerous in early sobriety. It is also important to find a balance in your life between recovery and other activities. Going back to work gives you a break from recovery, which can be emotionally draining.