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The first year of sobriety can feel like a dream. As we reconnect spiritually, emotionally, and mentally we begin to regain our freedom and sense of peace. Taking the 12-Steps with a sponsor and getting involved in fellowship rewards us with a new life. The rewards are plentiful and we find the pieces of our life repairing and expanding. This feeling is referred to as the pink cloud. As with all honeymoon phases, eventually, this euphoria fades. Within the first year, we celebrate many milestones and receive acknowledgment almost every month. By the second year, most of us are finished with inpatient or outpatient programs and have completed the 12-Steps. We have found friendships, new jobs, have made amends, and are moving forward. Many recovering alcoholics and addicts find that the second year of recovery brings a harsh return to the reality of normal life. Although the miracles continue to happen as we remain sober, the sparkle and shine of early sobriety can be replaced with a sense of monotony. In recovery, this is referred to as the Terrible Twos, the uniformity of the second year. Don’t lose hope! The purpose of recovery is to alleviate our obsession with alcohol and other drugs and allow us to reintegrate into normal life. These feelings of humdrum and routine are valid, and an expected part of restoring our lives.


If you are in the midst of your Terrible Twos or finding yourself in a bit of drag within recovery, here are some suggestions to get you through!


Stay Connected 

Keeping connected with your friends in sobriety is a great help! Even if you are busy at a new job or have other obligations, stay in touch with the friends and support system you have made. Whether it’s a phone call, a monthly promise to get together, or a meeting you all attend, make an effort to stay connected. They can be your biggest cheerleaders. People who relate to you and who understand what you are going through can be the easiest to talk to. You’ll get by with a little help from your friends!


Attend Meetings

Sometimes when we become busy with the requirements of everyday life, we don’t go to meetings as often as we did during our first year of sobriety. Perhaps we had a weekly schedule of meetings, and slowly but surely, we stopped attending as frequently. Maybe we are down to only one or two meetings a week. When life gets monotonous and we aren’t feeling excited about sobriety, sometimes a meeting is the best answer. Meetings can be inspiring and the message can be exactly what we need to hear! Here we can connect with other alcoholics, share our experience, and maybe even be able to be of service. Take a commitment! It will keep you accountable for showing up weekly and make sure you are breaking that monotony of everyday life. 


Work with Another Alcoholic 

The best way to get out of our own heads and re-immerse ourselves in recovery is to work with another alcoholic. If you are able to sponsor, this might be just what you need. Take on a new sponsee and take them through the steps. Seeing the light in their eyes and guiding them to their own pink cloud might just bring back yours. There is no greater feeling than watching a newcomer rediscover the joy of life without alcohol or other drugs. They can learn from you, and in the process, you will learn from them!


Don’t Forget to Pray and Meditate!

It is vital to keep your connection with your higher power. The spiritual experience we receive from finding and reaching out to a higher power in the first year doesn’t fade away. It can continue to happen on a daily basis if we set aside time at least once a day to pray. The same goes for meditation. Practicing meditation has benefits beyond recovery, and is proven to help you move through life with more clarity and balance. It can be a great way to let go of the negative emotions and stress from your life and help you stay present in the moment each day. Additionally, both prayer and meditation can be a reminder that every day is a new beginning! Try leaving some time in your morning routine to fit these practices in. 


Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude

Every day, remind yourself what you are grateful for. The simplicity of a daily gratitude list can emphasize all of the wonderful things that life in recovery has given you, and of the endless possibilities of what is to come. Your list doesn’t have to be long, maybe three or four things, just to get in the habit of recognizing how amazing life is. Don’t overthink it! The list doesn’t have to be poetic or an entire page. Sometimes it’s the little things that we tend to overlook, and those are the things that can make us smile in the moments where we feel like we are losing hope.


Remember, recovery is a life-long process, we need to put in work on a daily basis to keep the new life we have been given. The first year is incredible, it is a true miracle. That doesn’t mean the years after have to be any less magical. If you show up for your sobriety, even when you are busy or feeling disconnected, the beauty and magic will keep showing up for you!


At The Guest House Ocala, we want to get you on that pink cloud! Recovery is possible, and our facility is experienced in all things recovery! Take the first steps to find that magic, and give us a call! Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.