what to expect first year of recovery

What to Expect During Your First Year of Recovery

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dealing with addiction can be very scary. In fact, not knowing what to expect stops most people from dealing with their addiction and trying to get clean. For many, it is easier to continue using and drinking. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. In order to be more comfortable with your addiction and the process of getting help, it can help you to know what you should expect, especially in the beginning (and the first year). Here is a bit of what to expect during your first year of recovery.

Here are some things that you should expect during the first year of Recovery.

Things are going to get worse before they get better.

No matter how long you have been using or drinking, your body is going to go through withdrawal symptoms. The first few days and weeks are going to be rough as you deal with your mood swings, irritability, and anxiety. You may also have trouble concentrating and sleeping.

However, as your body continues to go through withdrawal and tries to balance out, you may deal with Post-acute Withdrawal Syndrome, otherwise known as PAWS. You may end up dealing with these symptoms for months as your body works hard to balance back out. You may need to see your doctor to help you get through this rough patch.

You are going to have good and bad days.

Once you have gotten clean, you may feel pretty good about yourself. You are working hard in order to get your life back under control. However, there are going to be days when it is just as tough as it was when you first quit. Something may happen and all you can think about is drinking or getting high. This is all a part of recovery.

However, you now have the tools to deal with these ups and downs, both physically and emotionally. So, let yourself get upset about something that happened, but find a better way to deal with it (than picking up the bottle).

While you are in recovery, you are going to have to re-evaluate your relationships.

Whether you go to a facility or you join a support group, you are going to need to focus on building relationships with these people. They are going to go through everything that you are and it is a good idea to have someone to call when you hit a low point.

That being said, you may also need to use this time to work on your relationships with your family and friends. You may have lost their trust and it is a good idea to show them how serious you are about your recovery (and proving yourself to them). You may also decide to let go of some of your old relationships. If you continue to hang out with your old friends, you may go right back to using with them.

Remember that relapse is possible.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), relapses do occurs. In fact, forty to sixty percent of people relapse. That being said, if you do go back to using drugs or drinking, you have not failed. You are just going to have to forgive yourself, move on, and get right back to your recovery process.

So, what can you do?

All you can do is to continue to work your program and take every day as a chance to work on your recovery. If you relapse, pick yourself off and get right back into it. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. There are many places (and people) that you can turn to as you work on your recovery.

Here are some places that you can turn to help you through your first year (and beyond).

Rehabilitation facilities

Rehabilitation facilities are often the first step to help someone get sober and clean. While you are living there, you have no opportunity to use drugs or drink. In your first few days, you may be going through withdrawal symptoms but after that, you will be required to go to therapy alone and with others who are dealing with the same challenges that you are. Your days will be structured enough to keep you busy while taking the time to work on yourself.

If you have a relapse, you may need to enter a facility to get yourself back on track.

AA Meetings and Support Groups

There are many support groups, like AA, that you can visit, no matter what time of day it is. There are times when all you need to hear is that it will be ok and you can get through this. Hearing others who have gone through what you have (and survived) can be very inspiring so you may want to find a safe place to talk about your recovery.

Meditation and Exercise

Meditation, yoga, and exercise are important when it comes to rehabilitation and what to expect during your first year of recovery. Regular exercise will help you reduce your stress and anxiety, help you relax, and increase your energy. It can help you focus better on your recovery and your life. You will sleep better and altogether feel better about yourself. If you are having a rough day, you may want to take a walk and let go of everything that is bothering you.

If you are struggling with your recovery (or just want to start), don’t hesitate to contact us today. We will be by your side every step of the way so that you can have a great future.

Meet Our Team
Meet Our Team

From our certified therapists and nurses to our emotional support animal "Cooper", our entire team is dedicated to the health and success of our clients throughout our program and beyond.

Help Is Available. Speak With Someone Today.

Our admission team is available to help 24/7.
Skip to content