Here are a few pieces of advice for recovering without a 12-step program.
1. Find your tribe. I can’t stress enough how important it is to find peers who understand the journey you are on and who have been where you are. When you are feeling down or as if your sobriety is in jeopardy, you need to have people you can reach out to and talk it through with. These can be people you know in real life or online. There are so many resources on the internet and on social media for connecting with other people in recovery…
2. Use technology. Embracing technology is incredibly beneficial when it comes to recovery. Simply googling recovery resources turns up many results, including groups to join or blogs to read. There are various smartphone apps that can track your sober time, connect you to other people in recovery, and provide other helpful information. Many even deliver an inspirational quote each day. There are newsletters you can sign up for, readings you can relate to and learn from, chat rooms to talk with other sober people…the list goes on. The internet and technology in general are fantastic resources for those of us in recovery.
3. Have an outlet. It’s important for everyone to have a way to burn off steam, but it’s especially important for those in recovery. Chances are that if you are sober, you probably relied on a substance as a way of letting go, escaping, and as a place to channel negative feelings. In recovery, that is no longer an option. However, there are plenty of healthy outlets to choose from. Two of the ones I have found most helpful are writing and working out.
4. Find another program. Believe it or not, 12-step programs are not the only recovery programs out there for people struggling with substance misuse.
5. Share your story. This has been the best tool for my own recovery. There is something about telling your story to other people — and them telling their story in return — that makes you feel like you are holding one another accountable and sharing in both the successes and the struggles.
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"This generation's Hillel." (Nathan Cofnas)
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