Sunday, September 4, 2011

Seven Days Sober: Looking Forward

Structure, scheduling and balance are all important elements to a successful recovery. The hard work of early sobriety can sometimes seem stifling or overwhelming, however, and women sometimes feel they need to take a break from the routine and get excited about something.

Planning enjoyable things to look forward to is one way to put a sense of anticipation and excitement into your life. Some people think of this as building islands of rest, recreation, or fun. These are islands to look forward to so that the future doesn't seem so predictable and routine. The islands don't need to be extravagant things. They can be things like:

  • Going out of town for a 3-day weekend
  • Taking a day off work
  • Going to a play or concert
  • Attending a sporting event
  • Visiting relatives
  • Going out to eat
  • Visiting an old friend
  • Having a special date with your partner

Plan these little rewards often enough so that you don't get too stressed, tired, or bored in between them.

Journal Exercise:

List some things that you have used as a reward in the past
What are some possible islands for you now?

Information from:

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Counselor's Treatment Manual: Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People With Stimulant Use Disorders. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 08-4152. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2006; reprinted 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010

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