A New Chapter when Leaving Rehab or Leaving College


When you made the decision to enter rehab or sober living, your loved ones probably jumped for joy.  Likely there was a talk of getting the “old you” back and putting this addiction business in the past.  There is a common perception that people walk out of rehab and rejoin the world with no lingering issues.  This, unfortunately, isn’t the reality.

Not only is rehab a difficult experience for most of us, but life after these transformative weeks or months can be a challenge as well.  When you leave a rehab facility behind, you are also walking away from a safe space of sorts.  For some of us, it almost feels like walking away from college and then trying to figure out what to do with the rest of our lives.  Fortunately, there are several ways that you can set yourself up for success as you begin this exciting new chapter in your recovery.

Establish a Support System

It is important to take the time to build a support system in recovery as well as outside of recovery.  Having friends and access to a strong fellowship is vital to building a lasting recovery program.  Most people join a local 12-step group and meet members of those groups.  This is one of the best ways to begin building a support system and meeting some new friends with similar goals.

Re-Assess Your Life’s Purpose

Speaking of goals now is a great time to take a look at what you were doing with your life during your addiction and decide if that was really the right path for you.  As recovery allows you to become the truest version of yourself, some of these choices will become crystal clear. Hazelden publishes a workbook http://www.my12stepstore.com/A-Guide-to-the-Big-Books-Design-for-Living-with-a-Higher-Power.html that is excellent for goal oriented people.

Find New Hobbies and Activities

One of the great things about recovery and sober living is that you’ll find the energy to try new things.  Those new friends that you’ve met will be great partners for some of these activities, but you can also explore the world on your own.  Take up painting, running or even simple walks on the beach.

Enjoy What You Have

Early recovery is the best time to practice gratitude for all of the gifts that you’ve been given.  Take some time each day to celebrate such things as your health, your basic needs being met, and your relationships.  Not only will you have new friends, but you will also have the opportunity to work on and repair relationships with loved ones.

Early recovery is a time of growth and exploration.  Take the time each day to meditate on the gifts that recovery has provided and worked on strengthening your program.  For additional reading, check out our Hazeleden, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services published books personal growth and daily meditation books.

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Your Sponsor: Your Friend and Important Lifeline During Recovery

17800447_1572057619501428_2634974054763712851_nThere are many important relationships throughout your life, but when you’re on the road to recovery your sponsor can serve as your confessor, your friend, your mentor and even in some ways as a parental figure. Your sponsor is primarily responsible for helping you work the Twelve Steps, and is often one of the most rewarding relationships that you will develop along your road to addiction recovery. Continue reading

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5 Special Ways to Celebrate Your Mom on Mother’s Day

5 Special Ways to Celebrate Your Mom on Mother’s Day

Celebrating Mother’s Day isn’t just for your own Mom, it can be for a special friend who is a mom or even someone who is like a mom to you, but may not be your mom.  Families are an important form of support during the recovery journey. So, on Mother’s Day, show your mom how much she means to you and how grateful you are for her love and support during this difficult time. Or how much you love and support her recovery journey. http://www.my12stepstore.com/product2563.html Continue reading

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Party Like a (Sober) Rock Star this Cinco de Mayo

Depositphotos_47411299_xl-2015As the weather warms up, people look for reasons to get together and shake off the cold, dreary winter blues. What better way to kick off the summer season than a festive Cinco de Mayo party? While others may be out overindulging, it’s good to know that you can celebrate sober and still have a blast with friends and family.

Background of Cinco de Mayo

It might surprise you to learn that you won’t find huge Cinco de Mayo parties in Mexico — that’s because this minor holiday isn’t Mexican Independence Day as many think it is. Instead, Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of a single victory over the French in the city of Pueblo. Why has this particular day become so popular as an unofficial U.S. holiday? The opportunity to enjoy tacos, nachos, Mexican culture and some serious drinking appeals to many Americans. Since going out with friends for a night on the town during a heavy drinking holiday isn’t a good option, what about some alternative ideas for hosting your own celebration?

Host a Sober Cinco

Ditch the high-pressure bars and local eateries, and host your own sober Cinco de Mayo extravaganza! Mexican culture is bright, colorful and incredibly festive so hang up some paper lanterns or luminaries, toss some red and yellow tablecloths on your outdoor tables and have friends bring tacos fixings. Asking others to bring specific dishes such as a side dish of beans, cooked ground beef or turkey, shredded lettuce or cheese and taco shells or tortillas will take the stress out of a fun afternoon or evening event. Note that you’ll provide all the beverages to limit the chance that temptations could crash your party.

Be Selective

There are certain friends who may trigger you to make choices that aren’t in your best interest. Avoid inviting them for this specific event to be sure you’re able to relax and enjoy yourself. A great book published by Hazeleden The Latino Guide to Emotional Well-Being Mi Familia y yo: Guía de Bienestar Emocional  Author: Staff from Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio.      http://www.my12stepstore.com/My-Family-My-Self.ht


No matter how you decide to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, know that your sponsor, as well as supportive friends and family, will be happy to join you in making this Cinco de Mayo the best. Each day sober is another day to celebrate — find just the right gift to give yourself after enjoying your sober Cinco de Mayo at My12StepStore.com.

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Wonderful Things About Life in Recovery

Road leading into a beautiful sunset

Road leading into a beautiful sunset

When you are in recovery from an addiction, your life will change in remarkable ways. It is important to take the time to celebrate these victories that sober living has brought into your life. As you embark on this journey, here are some of the miraculous changes you will notice: but first a  great book published by Hazelden, talks about the wonderful gifts in recovery. http://www.my12stepstore.com/Gifts-of-Sobriety.html

New Appreciation for the World Around You

When you are in the throes of addiction, it’s as though you see the world through a sort of haze, possibly not even remembering certain aspects of your life. Once you have made the journey into sober living, you’ll find that colors seem brighter, memories seem sharper, and you just have a general sense that you are getting so much more out of your life than you ever did before.

Supportive New Set of Friends

The friends you make during addiction usually aren’t truly your friends, and you’ll find that out very quickly once you stop using. The friends you make in recovery, on the other hand, are some of the truest friends you will ever have. Going through this experience together bonds you together in such a way that nothing else can. You’ll love being surrounding by people who truly care about and support you in your new life. http://www.my12stepstore.com/product2524.html

Sense of Freedom

A big part of recovery is making amends to the people you have wronged in the past, and with that comes a release of much of the guilt that you have been hanging onto for so long. This weight off of your shoulders gives you a newfound sense of freedom that is incredibly uplifting. In addition, you’ll be free from the constant pull of drugs or alcohol trying to drag you back down into the abyss. When you feel free, it is amazing how much happier you will ultimately be.

No matter which stage of the recovery journey you currently find yourself in, you can find all of the tools you need to guide you on your way at My 12 Step Store. Whether you are looking for the Big Book, motivational posters or fun key chains, we’ve got it in stock. Take a look through our selection today to find what you need to help you stay on track with your recovery.

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Writing a Love Letter to Yourself

Writing a Love Letter to Yourself

When you are going through the process of recovering from addiction, one of the first things that you will learn is the importance of self-love. If you can’t find it within your heart to love and forgive yourself, you cannot realistically expect others to do the same. Continue reading

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Drugs Alcohol Sex and Religion

Drugs Alcohol Sex and Religion

Many people who are learning about recovery are concerned about how religion factors into many existing programs and approaches. This is especially true in regard to Alcoholics Anonymous, which is the largest and most well-known recovery program. The Alcoholics Anonymous was founded as a Christian-centered program, but it is also a space that is inclusive of people of all faiths, or from no faith at all. To truly reap the full value of a recovery program, it is important to understand the role that religion does and does not play. Continue reading

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Working With Others (many ways) in Recovery

handsome teen volunteer cleaning streets with friends

The process of recovery is a different journey for everyone, although there are areas of commonality that many people share. One of those common truths is that working with others throughout the recovery process and beyond is a powerful way to reach out and connect with people who are on their own unique journeys. Service to others fosters a different sense of self, new bonds with others and a connection to something greater than our own individual identities. The following thoughts can help people in recovery begin or deepen a path toward serviceContinue reading

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Drinking Too Much…How Much Is Too Much?

Drinking Too Much...How Much Is Too Much?

There is a fine line between drinking while having a good time and drinking to the point of excess. When you reach the point of excess, you lose control over your drinking, allowing the alcohol to control you. So how do you know when you have reached this point and need to get help? Here are some of the warning signs that you may have an addiction to alcohol:  Continue reading

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4th Step Inventory-Spring Cleaning Your Life!

CaptureAs the weather warms and the world begins to turn green once again, many people feel the urge to tackle spring cleaning. Spring is a time of renewal, which is why we turn our thoughts to sprucing up our living environment and making improvements in our personal lives. For those who are struggling with addiction and recovery, spring can be a powerful motivator for change, and one that should be embraced. The following steps can help those who are ready to make an earnest attempt at moving through Step 4 of a 12-step program.

What is Step 4?

Step 4 compels us to “make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” This is a comprehensive survey of your life, of all the choices that have led you to where you are today, and all of the elements, both good and bad, that are at play in your life. It is not an easy part of the 12-step process, and it is an area where many people struggle. That said, in order to begin making things right and choosing a better path, it is absolutely necessary to understand where you have come from.

What are the Benefits of Step 4?

Many people view step 4 only in a negative light and think of it as something to dread. In reality, however, this can be an incredibly healing process. In searching out the truth about our lives, we not only uncover negative choices and traits; we also discover those areas where we are strong and capable. That information can be critical in making the changes needed to begin a new path. Many people also feel a huge sense of relief once the process is complete, as though they have unburdened themselves of a great deal of negativity. http://www.my12stepstore.com/Alcoholics-Anonymous-Twelve-Step-Pamphlet-Collection-1-12-Workbook-Book.html

What is the Best Way to Complete Step 4?

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to go about this process, but there is plenty of guidance to be found from those who have already completed their own personal inventories. Seek out a trusted advisor to guide you through this step, and listen to others who are willing to speak about their own experiences. You may find tips on how to organize your personal inventory, how to remain positive as you move through the process, or hear how step 4 acts as a springboard for the next stages of recovery. http://www.my12stepstore.com/Alcoholics-Anonymous-Fourth-Step-Guide-Journey-Into-Growth-Book.html

At my12stepstore.com, we are proud to offer products that support and celebrate recovery. We invite you to visit our site when you need support materials, books, chips, medallions, or other products, or to simply read more about the 4th step recovery process.  http://www.my12stepstore.com/product2561.html

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