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Staying sober and healthy in addiction recovery: A How-To manual (BOOK REVIEW)

How can you navigate early sobriety?

Just got out of rehab? Thinking of going?

If you are someone who in the early stages of addiction recovery, you can expect to encounter a set of changes. Some of those changes may feel terrifying. You may even catch yourself asking questions such as “I’m detoxed and sober…WHAT NOW?”

Addiction, Recovery, Change: A How-To Manual for Successfully Navigating Sobriety may be a useful tool for you in early addiction recovery and can even serve as an addition to your treatment program. Here, we review this book and suggest who may find it beneficial. We welcome your questions in the comments in a section at the end of the page.

Why we like “Addiction, Recovery, Change”

1. Professional and friendly narration. The book is written from the voice of a therapist. It contains knowledge and needed professional information on the topics it tackles, but the text speaks with such friendly care and honesty… that you will feel supported and encouraged! So, it is written from the perspective of a therapist … and a friend!

2. Real life examples show you how you navigate common problems. Throughout, you will find examples and real life stories of people in early sobriety. The book addresses and normalizes events in the lives of recovering addicts…from difficult decisions to strange situations. So, you’ll get to see how people in recovery have faced and resolved specific difficulties.

3. It can be used to supplement your addiction treatment program. “Addiction, Recovery, Change” also contains questions at the end of each chapter that will help you reflect on the content of the chapter. Not only does this help you keep your ideas organized, the chapter summaries will also help you self-reflect on your recovery journey. This is why we think of this book as a “How-To” manual for early sobriety; the book can even be used as a supplement to your addiction treatment program.

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For example, there is an entire chapter dedicated to common questions and thinking errors people in recovery from addiction encounter. A catalogue of stinking thinking! Why stay stuck on the road to positive changes you want for yourself? If you prepare to face these thoughts in advance … think about how much easier recovery can be!

4. Though preparedness, you can avoid pitfalls and relapse. Most importantly, this book will help you recognize and anticipate most challenges and difficulties people face after getting sober. Once you see the problems, you will also be equipped to see the solutions, or seek help from professionals who can help you on your recovery journey…and this is WHY we RECOMMEND this book.

What are some REQUIRED changes you need to make after detox?

After reading this book, we hope that you will be equipped to make healthy (albeit difficult) choices in your life. What are some of the major themes that are addressed?

1. Setting expectations after treatment – During the rehab process, you will receive all kinds of support needed. Most experts suggest that you set positive and achievable goals with the help of your therapist, but you should also know the challenges that you will encounter. This dedicated chapter will help you recognize triggers and understand what they really are.

2. Finding sober supports – One of the most important things to remember is that you are not alone and helpless, even though you might feel like it. You can find people to understand and talk to in many places. The authors make a few suggestions for supports that we mention often on Addiction Blog:

  • a nurse or a doctor
  • a priest or pastor (or any spiritual leader)
  • a sponsor
  • other individuals in addiction recovery who are looking for social sober supports
  • parents
  • people on forums and messaging boards (on the internet)
  • sober community charts and texting apps
  • sober friends
  • your addiction counselor
  • your spouse

3. Assessing your relationships – This chapter is summarized in one sentence by the authors: “You need to seriously evaluate and critically analyze your relationships with people, places, and things to determine what you must avoid.” Don’t expect this to be easy. You can expect to face some difficult choices in your new life in order to get rid of negative aspects and risk returning back to addiction. In recovery, you need to look forward and make room for new, positive people, places and things.

4. Breaking free of codependence – Do you have control issues? Do you try to please people all the time? Perhaps codependence was modelled by your parents? The authors also help you identify which relationships in your life are codependent, and then take appropriate actions to either create a functional relationship or move on. One chapter in the book takes a look at how you can know you are in a dysfunctional relationship and what you can do about it.

5. Battling boredom – A lot of people report being bored once they become sober. This is ironic, because boredom is one of the reasons people list when they start using drugs. Boredom usually starts with some sort of restlessness, and you may feel like you have too much time on your hands and nothing to do.

But, what can you do to battle boredom in addiction recovery? In fact, there are a lot of things you can do if your allow boredom to be your time for processing instead of toxic-time. A chapter also explore ideas for getting out and getting going!

6. Encountering temptation – You cannot expect only casual “encounters” with temptations in life after addiction…temptations will surround you. This chapter continues the talk about triggers from previous chapters and offer a more in-depth explanation of why the ARC program doesn’t believe triggers don’t exist. Instead, they call them “excuses”.

Questions about maintaining your sobriety

Do you have anything you’d like to ask or add? Please leave your comments and questions in the designated section at the end of the page. We welcome your feedback and try to answer personally and promptly to all legitimate inquiries.

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About Ivana @ Addiction Blog

Ivana helps moderate Addiction Blog by providing helpful comments and suggestions to our readers. She is also an optimist and a dreamer. Ivana is inspired by books, travels, conversations and people and we are so grateful to have her on our team.

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