1. Tell on yourself
Secrets are a dangerous thing to have when you are on a path to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Keeping secrets means that you have something to hide, and in recovery there should be nothing that you feel you have to hide. Whether it is telling your sponsor when you make a mistake, fessing up when you accidentally lie about something, or approaching someone when you feel like using, there are many ways that you might go about telling on yourself. Transparency is a key aspect of living a recovered lifestyle, and it keeps many from developing caches of secrets that will ultimately lead to their downfall. So many people feel that they have to hide so much when they are in their addiction, and because of that, they develop a habit of keeping things from people, whether it is emotions or actions. It keeps people at arms length when you have secrets, and it doesn’t allow you to express yourself fully and develop the close interpersonal relationships that are so important in recovery. Telling on yourself is the best way to keep everything out in the open and straightforward in recovery.
2. Integrate recovery with your life
So many people have preconceived ideas about AA when they enter the program for the first time; ideas that are perpetuated by the media’s depiction of addiction. They come into the rooms and they feel as though they have arrived at a place of misery; a place where crazy people go. It is, of course, a last resort to go to AA. AA is the place people who suffer from addiction go when they literally have no other option, and that truth breeds a culture of not wanting to be there amongst newcomers. One of the best things you can do to stay sober is to integrate your recovery with your life. Develop friends and relationships in the rooms, go to sober events, and talk about recovery with people who are not in the rooms. Become an active part of your recovery community, and pick up commitments in meetings or at events. The more you can integrate recovery into your life, the easier it will be to adapt to this new way of life, and live according to the principles outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. You can enter a world where you can surround yourself with people that will hold you accountable, and catch you if you fall, and you will find that, in becoming active in your recovery community, you will feel happier, and more fulfilled.
3. Take suggestions
This is a common saying in the rooms of AA. Take suggestion. Chances are that someone other than you knows what is best, and as a drug addict or alcoholic, you have proven that your best thinking will get you into trouble. It is clear, judging from the tornado that surrounds addicts and alcoholics, that you cannot manage your own life, and are therefore ill suited to make decisions. This is where asking for help and taking suggestions from people you trust come into play. There are people who know more than you, people who have more experience than you, and people who have had completely different experiences than you. Rely on that experience to guide you to a path where you will succeed.