How to Handle Your First Week in Recovery from Alcohol or Drug Addiction

Today is the first day you stopped drinking… now what? Maybe you’ve been through detox and are ready to start your life again, but what do you do from here? Are you geared up for some AA meetings and a 12-step program? Are you ready for all the horror stories that you hear about recovery? I call them horror stories because they often involve major struggle in achieving their goals of not drinking, so that’s how I perceived them. What’s the catch with the current recovery processes? Why is such a failing proposition the main source of treating one of the biggest epidemics we have in this country? Why do people in AA remain in the program for life? There is a common misconception that you have to spend the rest of your life in recovery, the only thing you have to do for the rest of your life is live it! So why do we still think that our outside addictions will haunt us for life? There is too much information about human biology for this to be true. There is no science behind our current, popular processes for addiction recovery. It’s a free for all right now, but what if we put some type of science behind recovery? All the AA supporters with their arms in the air, saying “AA is the ONLY way to recover!” aren’t looking at biological fact. What is your skin in the game? Is it because you made recovery so hard for yourself that without AA, you would have failed, and you don’t want anyone to have it easier than you did? Don’t you think that with all the medical advancements, that there is probably a better, more effective, and easier way to recover? I do, because I’ve already created a process for myself that will help many other people recover too. “But everyone is different!”. I know that everyone is a unique and special flower on this planet because you say you are, but that doesn’t mean that you can escape human biology. Our biggest problem is that we don’t know the difference between pain and discomfort, and that we think we shouldn’t have have any problems. We have tried to make the world so safe that we can actually believe that a disruption to our day is a catastrophic event, and then we watch hours and hours of news, and suddenly, your world is falling apart. Nothing significant actually happened in your life that day, but because someone interrupted your life earlier in the day, and then you saw that Trump did something you didn’t like, you manifested anger and stress and produced these chemicals you’re already addicted to just so you can stay angry. It’s an addiction. Do you even know why you get pissed off, or sad half the time, and why it can cause you to drink too much? You think you do, just like I thought I did. So after I did some learning. Here’s what happens…
As children, we are vulnerable sponges that take in all the information that is going to shape our personalities. We learn just about everything from our parents and from the people they let into our lives, because we really have no choice. In most situations, we learn love before anything because your parents love the crap out of you… duh. When you feel love, your body creates a concoction of neurochemicals (phenylethylamine, norepinephrine, and dopamine) that give you that loving, safe, and secure feeling. It’s perfect for a baby. Your parents are almost like your drug dealer because their different actions will make different chemicals in your body, that will result in your moods, traits, and personality. What happens when we’re crying because we’re hungry or because we shit our pants? Those feelings release a different biochemical makeup that produces high alertness and stress, like cortisol into the body because being uncomfortable causes a certain amount of healthy stress. We absolutely need this stress chemical, as it will help us in the future to sort out what’s real danger and what’s not, but too much of any chemical is very addicting. When our parents cave in and let us get our way, we go from making the stress chemicals that let us know we’re uncomfortable and go directly to making the safe or love chemicals and get addicted to that mixture of both, so now we will respond in a similar way each time, because we’re addicted to that specific chemical makeup.

Now, add years of pouring alcohol into that chemical makeup and see how addicted your body gets. Even when you don’t want to drink, your body tells you that you NEED to drink because you have been training your body to need alcohol mixed with the stress chemicals to make a super chemical that is irresistible to you. Your body reacts to your brain because your brain stores information in your body. Your body becomes the unconscious mind because you keep teaching, and training it all of your bad habits, so that’s the only way it knows how to live. Every thought you have creates a biochemical that will affect how you think and feel. Continuing to live the same life you had while you were drinking or doing drugs, only minus the drugs and alcohol, will send the same signals to your brain, producing the same chemicals you’ve always produced, and causing cravings for the one thing you’re trying to get out of your life. There’s no explanation in AA about why anything works, and if there is an explanation, it’s draped in anecdotal quotes and beliefs and not biological fact. It’s all about just shutting up and sticking to the program and hopefully things will get better and you have to do it for the rest of your life. Okay… why? There’s no answer to why because there is no science to explain why the program works, there’s only science that explains why the program doesn’t work as a program. There are a few aspects that go along with what it takes to heal the body and mind, but the program is detrimental otherwise. All the things I’m about to explain can be backed up with the latest science that we have available. Do your own thing with your own research if you’d like. I’m just sharing what works for me… and other humans.

The First Week: Get rid of as many things as possible that relate to your drinking days. Save what you think is important because you’re not erasing your old life, you’re taking a break from it until you can recover and don’t feel that you want or need alcohol in your life anymore. These reminders and memories, only trigger the same chemicals that you have been making in the past, thus triggering your desire to drink. You might not think most of it is garbage at first, but it will become clear what is garbage and what isn’t in just a short time.
Go to the grocery store and get whole fruits and vegetables with a 3-day plan to cleanse with healthy foods. Stay away from processed sugar and grains because they turn into glucose just like alcohol does, which will cause your body to think it’s still in drinking mode. Eat two vegetables to every one piece of fruit to keep the sugar down, and drink TONS of water. Whole fruits and vegetables are different than juices and processed foods because it’s the whole food with fiber, minerals, vitamins, and all. Juicing is taking the sugar out of the fruit and drinking just the sugar which has very little benefit to your biological body. After your 3-day cleanse, fast for at least 24 hours to help reset the way your body thinks. Your brain does the thinking, and now you’re trying to retrain your body to think like the brain again because the brain is thinking healthy now. Plus, you have all the vitamins and minerals you need for the fast from all the fruits and veggies you ate over the past 3 days. You’re starting to change your 37.2 trillion cells.
After that, I did a ketogenic style diet that is low in carbs and high in protein and fat. This creates ketone bodies that are used as energy and helps repair damaged cells, including the brain cells you damaged while drinking. The process will undoubtedly be uncomfortable for a short time, but that’s because you are trying to change the way your entire body thinks and acts after many years of abuse, so your body will need some time to adjust.
Meditate as much as you can because the benefits probably exceed anything that a doctor can give you to ease the discomfort. Your body is causing discomfort because you are not giving it what it wants anymore. Instead, you are giving it what it needs, and it will soon follow what you tell it to do. There is a major difference between pain and discomfort. Discomfort makes you uneasy, but pain is painful so don’t confuse the two. It’s okay to be uncomfortable for short periods of time, that’s how we’re able to deal with pain when it comes.
After a few days or a week or so, your body will start to agree with your choices and start to treat you how you are treating it, making the recovery process much easier to deal with. Now go through your box of garbage… I mean memories, again to see if anything you didn’t think was garbage before, is now garbage. Hopefully you’ve taken alcohol far enough out of your life, that more of it is real garbage in your eyes than there was the week before. Pretty soon the box will be empty and that’s when you’ll know where you’re at with alcohol in your life.

Hopefully this will help you get off to a good first week of recovery, and if you’re already deep in recovery and can’t find anything that helps, try this and see how you feel. If you really follow it (let me know how it works for you in the comment section), you’re following what you want to do, not what I wrote down to do. One good feeling will lead to another and the next thing you know… no cravings. Meditating, eating healthy, and being self-aware, is all about treating yourself well and giving the outside world a break from entering your life. You’ll continue to drown if you stay in the deep end and don’t know how to swim. Thanks for reading! Have a Powerful Day!

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