It took two relapses after 6 months sober and a host of other negative consequences to finally get me serious about sobriety. And by negative consequences, I mean multiple arrests, a high-speed police chase, job loss and devastated family. But hey, it takes what it takes, right?

I know some people don’t lose much, if anything, before deciding to get clean (unless you count internal health). Most, however, endure some form of personal loss prior to finding recovery for good. It just happened I lost a lot.

I Took the 1st Step… After a Couple Months Sober
Somewhere in my first few months sober, I decided to do everything asked of me. Some other notable factors excluded, this decision made the difference between sobriety and relapse. To this day. however, I try to remember I’m only one bad decision away from substance abuse. I also remind myself that my track record now demonstrates, without question, that if I continue to stay involved in a program of recovery, I’ll stay sober. No matter what.

That’s reassuring for a guy like me who reentered the rooms with a lot of doubt and misconceptions. I remember asking my guide while in the 30-day program at Discovery Place, “How can I believe the 12 steps will work for me?”

Truth is, I entered a residential recovery program for the third time thinking I’d tried 12 step recovery to the best of my ability. A rigorous analysis proved otherwise. Here are 4 things I suggest if you want to get through your first year sober. And stay that way.

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