Although legal, alcohol packs a powerful punch that has brought countless folks to their knees.
If the insidious addiction to the liquid gold has wreaked havoc on your life, you aren’t alone.
Likewise, you are not alone in your quest for recovery from alcoholism. The fact is that you no longer have to allow the alcohol to control your life.
Instead, you can clean your body, mind and soul from the toxic binds that keep you intoxicated even when you want to be sober.
Understanding the alcohol recovery stages can help you to navigate through the changes to be expected in your life.
Alcohol Recovery Days 1, 2, 3
For many people, the first few days of recovery are the most challenging.
During this time, your body will be going through alcohol withdrawal.
Depending on how often you drink, and the type of booze that you are drinking, this can be quite treacherous.
In some cases it might even be necessary to go to a detoxification center in order to go through this stage safely.
Those who have been consuming copious amounts of strong alcohol on a daily basis are subject to seizures and other health complications.
Delirium tremens are quite common, and can be very difficult to get through.
The symptoms include hallucinations and body tremors. It is common for people to experience extreme mood swings and erratic thought patterns.
Being safe during this stage is important to ensure that you don’t do anything dangerous.
Some rehab centers have a medically controlled environment where patients can detox safely, while others require clients to detox prior to entry.
If you are planning to attend outpatient recovery services, you can either use a detox facility for these initial days or have loved ones help you at home. You will need someone to call for medical attention if necessary.
Your First Week In Recovery
Although DT’s, as delirium tremens are often called, usually show up in the first 72 hours without alcohol, they can happen well into the first week, with some folks even having these troubling experiences into the second one.
Once the shaking has begun to subside, it will be significantly easier to function.
Of course, during this time there is still a lot of discomfort. Those who have been drinking heavily are often not eating well and making other healthy lifestyle choices.
This can lead to various health issues, including malnutrition, muscle cramps and organ problems.
As this week begins to settle in, you will clear your system of the alcohol.
For some people it is difficult to get good rest during this time, while others find that rest takes over them as their bodies attempt to heal from the damage done by prolonged alcohol abuse.
Alcohol Recovery Stages Weeks 2 and 3
The next couple of weeks, things start to look up. You should be able to eat and function again, though it will still be a while before you feel fantastic.
However, this is a great time to enjoy and appreciate newfound sobriety. But, you might also find yourself having large emotional mood swings as well.
At one moment you might think that getting sober was the best idea ever, with the next moment seeing you huddled in a corner crying. This is to be expected, and is certainly no reason to throw in the towel.
These weeks are often difficult for alcoholics who can begin to see the damage that their drinking has caused.
No longer completely numbed out by the alcohol, you might experience sadness, regret and a host of other emotions that you have been hiding in that bottle.
If you are at a rehab center you will have classes and groups to help you process these emotional swings.
For those who are in outpatient therapy, these weeks are equally important.
Talking about your experiences can be a good way to get things out.
Otherwise, the emotional turbulence might send you seeking out a bottle instead of a helping hand.
While you don’t need to wallow in every fleeting feeling, it is important to acknowledge the difficulties you are having so that you can learn new solutions to your problems.
Into The First 30 Days
Rounding out the first thirty days you should be feeling much better than you were on day one.
Many people cannot believe how much better they feel after just one short month.
However, the difference can really be amazing. If you are eating well and taking care of your health otherwise, your body will be well on the way to repairing the damage that has been done by problem drinking.
Speaking of healthy choices, it is important to make sure that you are eating regularly and drinking healthy beverages every day while you are in recovery.
There are several things that can be precursors to a relapse, including hunger.
You must take care of your body, providing the nutrients needed to heal your body at the cellular level.
You can even find rehabilitation centers that have an organic and/or vegan menu to help their patients heal better.
Keeping Momentum Into The First 3 Months
Now that you have a month under your belt, the next two will be a bit easier. All signs of clearing the alcohol from your system should be gone.
If you are in a rehabilitation center, it is likely that you will be released somewhere during this time frame. You will have an aftercare plan that includes outpatient sessions and support groups. The specifics will depend on several factors, including where you live and the type of rehab center you are in.
Whether you have been in treatment, attending outpatient services or white-knuckling it on your own, it is important to remain steadfast during this time.
Some people make the mistake of thinking they have the problem licked, only to end up in their favorite watering hole wondering where it all went wrong.
Make sure that you have solid plans in place to keep your mind, body and soul healthy and on track for recovery.
Another Chip At 6 Months of Alcohol Recovery
The next few months are pretty similar alcohol recovery stages, though you will now have time to look at other areas of your life.
It is essential that you take stock of what has happened and figure out how to move forward with your life.
Make repairs as needed with
- professional acquaintances.
Work with a support team to make sure that you are staying focused on moving forward and not dwelling in the past or repeating unhealthy behaviors.
From 6 Months To The First Year
The first year of recovery has many ups and downs. During the last half of this leg, you will begin to settle into a routine. However, it is likely that you will still have some emotional issues to deal with.
Family and friends might expect you to recover more quickly, and others will think that you should be able to swig off a beer now and then.
You will need to take a firm stance regarding your own health and wellness. Don’t be rude, just honest and straightforward.
Alcohol Recovery From 1 Year To 2 Years
The following year in alcohol recovery stages is a wonderful time where the past is no longer the demon that it was when you only had a few months clean.
By now you have probably begun to clean up your mess, including repairing relationships and restoring your name in the community.
Of course, it will take a lot more than a stint in rehab to get everyone to see you in a new light.
While that can be frustrating once you have a year or two under your belt, you must learn to take it in stride.
Eventually, your actions will speak for themselves.
Turning 24 Hours Into Years
Alcoholics who have been drinking for one year or several decades can all have the opportunity to get clean and start living in a sober, healthier way.
In order to do this, it is important to have a commitment to oneself. While a lot of people will try to get sober for family members, to keep their job or other external motivators, that doesn’t work in the long run.
If you are to attain long lasting sobriety and happiness, you must find peace within yourself.
You must believe that you deserve peace and happiness, that you can be a positive force in the world.
Learn to see yourself in a new light, as someone who spreads joy to others with a genuine smile, a lilting laugh or other small gestures.
There are many types of treatment that you can use to help make sure that your transform the way that you want.
Acupuncture, yoga and a healthy diet are just a few things that can help you to create a lifelong habit of health and wellness that doesn’t cause you to reach for the bottle when things go awry.
Now that you know what the alcohol recovery stages are, you will be able to go through them more easily. Enjoy sobriety!