What is the First Year Like in Recovery?

What is the First Year Like in Recovery?

The first year of recovery may seem daunting, but that’s likely because you don’t know what to expect. It’s a major transition from what you’re used to; addiction presents us with habitual behaviors that we come to learn and crave, and recovery counteracts that. While it may seem uncomfortable as your mind and body adjust to the healing process, you will get used to it and even come to appreciate just how wonderful sobriety can be. In 2015, a graduate student from the City University of New York shared multiple stories of individuals going through their first year in addiction recovery. The stories present a number of important ups and downs of recovery during the first year, such as:

·    Getting comfortable with the environment of treatment

·    Learning the rules and how the structure works

·    Relapsing

·    Feeling proud at 90 days sober

·    Dreaming about using substances and waking up, worried that it had actually happened

·    Attending AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings and finding great connections

One person stated, “I think [recovery] is a lifelong process for me and I always need to be reminded of this [sobriety date] on my arm. I know today I’m not going to drink. I don’t know about tomorrow, but today, I’m good.”

They key takeaway for many in their first year of recovery is grasping the notion of taking everything step by step, day by day. Mistakes are going to be made. Accidents are going to happen, and there are going to be a number of bad days just as there are a number of great days. Recovery is much like life – it’s a twisted path, filled with several different turns. There are ups and downs, and it’s all about learning to accept the path as it is without trying to manipulate it.

Your first year is going to be one of growth. You’re going to learn a lot about yourself and about the world of recovery. Build connections. Find support. Utilize the resources you’ve been given, and immerse yourself in activities that will boost your recovery.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.


Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.