By Larry Smith
In the last article, I discussed why it is imperative to have an aftercare plan to help you recover from addiction. So, what needs to be included in your aftercare plan?
My friend Donny has graciously given me permission to reprint his aftercare plan. He has over seven years of sobriety to his credit and still follows this plan to this very date.
1. I will attend 3 AA meetings each week.
How many 12 step meetings do you think you require? If you are unsure, ask your sponsor. In early sobriety, it is often necessary to attend meetings on a daily basis.
2. I will call my sponsor once a week.
Remember your sponsor is your mentor. He has experienced the agony, obstacles and unexpected twists and turns in his own recovery. Call him often and tell him honestly how you are feeling and the problems you are facing. The chances are very likely that he has experienced the same thing and can offer help.
3. I will attend the aftercare program from my treatment centre each Tuesday.
If your treatment centre does not offer any such program, seek out a 12 step study group or equivalent.
4. I will make 3 phone calls a week to recovery people.
It is extremely important to keep in contact with your recovery peers. You are helping each other keep clean and sober. You need to keep reminding each other to keep on working your program. You are going to have plenty of bad days, but always remember that you don’t have to suffer alone! Pick up the phone even if it weighs a thousand pounds!
5. I will eat 3 meals a day
Daily nutrition is part of your overall recovery program. Unless you are properly nourished, it is impossible to think or act properly. At the very least, make sure that you eat 3 meals a day.
6. I will read my meditation book on a daily basis.
You have to feed your mind and your spirit as well as your body. A great way to feed your mind and spirit is by reading a short passage from one of the many inspirational daily meditation books that are available. It is a great way to start your day.
7. I will make my bed daily to remind myself that I am in recovery
Pick a simple daily task such as making your bed to remind yourself that you are in recovery. Simple daily reminders are essential and will help strengthen your recovery program.
8. I will exercise 3-4 times per week.
Recovery from addiction involves the mind, body and spirit. Physical fitness plays a huge role in the recovery from addiction but it is often minimized and deemed as unimportant. Regular exercise releases “endorphins” the body’s natural feel good biochemical compounds. Make sure that you exercise regularly and that it is in balance with rest of your recovery program.
9. I will spend 20 minutes a day quietly in meditation.
Life can often become overwhelming and stressful. An effective way to help calm your stressed body is by sitting quietly or meditating for 20 – 30 minutes daily. There are numerous ways to meditate. “Google” meditation and find a way that works for you.
10. I will read my aftercare plan daily each morning to make sure I am following it.
Be accountable to following your aftercare plan. The easiest way is by making a check list and examining it daily.
If you sincerely desire long-term sobriety, it is crucial that you follow through with your aftercare plan.
Live a life of freedom and love.
Do it now!
Dr. Larry Smith Chiropractor and Author of:
Embrace the Journey of Recovery: From Tragedy to Triumph!
Are You Recovering From Alcohol or Drug Addiction?
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