Staying Clean and Sober on Day 1 (part 2)

So You Want to Change Your Life

Part 2 

It Begins with Staying Safe on Day One


Published by Addiction Freedom Courses


The Recovery Journey


Expedition to Freedom


Chapter 1

  This booklet would not exist if no one could get clean and sober. Likewise, no one would get clean and sober if they couldn’t learn how to stay safe from day one of their recovery journey. It’s all about “freedom from and freedom to”.  

This is written to those men and women who are bravely standing at the door and begging to come in. They are tired, they may also be ashamed, broke, alone, in dire legal straits, and mostly afraid. And they have every reason to be afraid. They-you, or a loved one are probably facing a journey that you know nothing about, have no idea where it will lead and have no instructions on how to get there. Sure, you’ve known someone who had a “problem” with drinking or drug use in the past and last you heard they were doing well. If you are like most active substance users or the mom or dad or spouse of one, you have stayed far away from that person, right? So you don’t really know much about their experience.  And you certainly can’t be calling or texting them to ask how they did it, now can you! Embarrassing!

Well, here some great news for you.

It’s not a complicated undertaking, but it’s not an easy one either. The toughest piece of the puzzle is giving in and giving up the high cost of low living. To do that you must, yes I said MUST, be honest with yourself and others. Part of that honesty is admitting that there is a part of you even now that wants to drink or use drugs.

People, young and old, men and women of all walks of life find themselves right where you are or somewhere close to it every day.

Sick emotionally, spiritually, and probably physically. Many of them are pressured by spouses, family, friends, or their employers to “go get help”, now! They eventually give in to the pressure and agree to a term in an inpatient treatment center. Maybe 15 or 30 days of addiction education, group therapy meetings and some places even offer extras like “equine therapy” and yoga classes. The outcomes are widely varied, and some say they are getting a lot out of the treatment “process”. They meet some like-minded folks on campus, gain a few pounds from a steady diet of carbs and protein and they make some promises on “family day” to live a changed life. Then their “release date” comes, and what then?

Yes, you have plenty in common with folks who went to treatment.

You are all in need of change and rehabilitation for sure. But, there is a difference that stands out from the start, at least one that I recognize. Most people reading this booklet are not headed for inpatient treatment, in fact many of you have already been there and done that at least once. Some have opted for an outpatient treatment program in the past, probably aced it too! Six to eight weeks of 3 hour sessions, three times a week. A great experience most likely. Here it comes …, BUT something went wrong, and you or that loved one with the problem slipped back into the abyss. High, drunk, fired, divorced, arrested, and in trouble again. It may have happened a few days out of treatment, or a few months after. The perceived reality in your brain is “it didn’t work”, and I am deeply sorry that you find yourself in that hopeless state of mind again.

The sad truth may well be “it didn’t work” for you or your loved-one.

But I have an entirely different response to failed treatment outcomes. I see a failed treatment outcome as a necessary experience for some. On the other hand, if you have never been in a treatment program, you can also follow along here, keep reading and grasp the point I’m about to make.

So, this little booklet, what’s it all about?

It’s about staying safe in the early days of recovery. Early recovery is that shaky time when your sober legs are wobbly and your “old friends” are still texting you to come have a drink or a puff. Whether or not you choose to go back for another inpatient treatment or an outpatient experience somewhere, or sign up for the self-paced recovery expedition offered by The Recovery Journey, you WILL need – and one day truly appreciate, the contents of this booklet.

Remember this, “quitting” is never the problem with drugs and alcohol.

You may experience some withdrawal or bad days physically after each binge, and your family and loved ones will question your commitment yet again, but quitting will be relatively easy- again. The real and confounding problem is STAYING QUIT! Which all too often relates to staying alive and free.

If you or your loved-one are reading this sentence right now

It means that you sought out help by searching online or you read the reviews about our program’s successes. Maybe your therapist or doctor recommended that you look into this program. It doesn’t matter what got you here, the important fact is that you chose to research and reach out. There’s something different about the people who end up here. Like you, they are knocking at the door and their desire for a new, stable, joyful life is eating at them from the inside. They want it-YOU want it. It’s not rehab again, it’s not more trips to the therapist’s office, it’s not more 3-hour outpatient visits. It’s “I WANT HELP” and “yes I’m ready this time.”

I’m going to provide you with several safety-focused exercises in this first booklet.

These are designed to engage you, force you to think, be honest, be humble, and give you the tools you need to stay clean, sober, and safe while you redirect yourself. This is a real recovery program that has the missing pieces or maybe the ones you left behind. If you can’t get through the start of the journey, you certainly can’t expect to reach the summit.

There is no safety in the journey from base camp without effective tools, resources, and provisions.

That may sound like a cheesy metaphor, but I see recovery as a journey through learning experiences, navigating around or through tough obstacles, working your way due north to the summit, that’s where recovery lives, grows, and thrives. First let’s cover what safety in recovery really is.  This is your needed focus and where you need to be right now, the most important idea is your state of well-being. The goals of safety are to be free from substance use, stay alive, stay free, work on truly healthy relationships, and control your feelings. Now is the time to learn and practice new coping skills and face day-to-day challenges, life stuff. Navigating through the safety ideas, you will learn to protect yourself from those people, places, and things that may be destructive. Even if there is only a slight possibility that things could go south, stay safe – don’t risk it. Here at the basecamp we learn our safety skills before we begin the journey north.

In the next chapter you will learn and practice not hurting yourself or others.

You will build and learn each day, maybe moment by moment, how to function without disorder or disruption and find the stability that has eluded you. With stability and the self-correction of cognitive distortions, you will be released from the feeling that you need to drink or use drugs. It’s simple, but not easy. Remember this bold statement, “people who follow all of the safety instructions our program offers and use the tools we provide are 100% successful in attaining and maintaining sobriety”. I suggest finding a fresh notbook and taking notes – this is your life! Trust the Journey.

Stay tuned for for the upcoming continuation of this article, Part 3, Chapter 2  

I will present more of what I know to be critical information for your consideration in the next blog.

Be safe and care for one another.

Coach Chris

As a trained professional in the field of substance-use recovery, a practicing recovery coach, and more importantly, a person in successful recovery from addiction for over 26 years, I have some knowledge to share and lots of hope for anyone who’s ready for change.  

The Recovery Journey to Addiction Freedom Online Course is Now Available as a Fully Digitized and Interactive Program Experience on All Mobile Devices and Computers.

Recovery Begins With Acceptance and A Commitment to Coach Chris’s 21 Day Self-Paced At-Home Course. This Amazing Course was Developed over Many Years with the Coach’s Experience as a Trained and Licensed Addiction Counselor and 3 Professional Coaching Certifications. This Solution-Focused Course Is Not Like Costly Rehabs or Treatment Centers, Does Not Require Group, In-Person, or Virtual Sessions. Includes Daily Coaching Videos, Medical Expert Video Interviews, Celebrity Recovery Video Interviews, Self-Searching Worksheets and Interventions, Relapse-Proof Guidelines, Early Recovery Craving Solutions, Safety-First Guidelines, Daily Relaxation and Wellness Video Productions, Goal and Intentions Worksheets, Art Therapy Modules, and many more Interventions in Perfect Order and Alignment for a Full and Sustainable Journey to Freedom from Addiction to All Mood-Altering Substances. CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO GET STARTED TODAY



The Recovery Journey 21 Day Program


Recovery Journey: Navigate to Addiction Freedom YouTube Channel


Asking for Medical Help

If you or someone you know exhibits withdrawal symptoms, psychological problems, or any signs of self-harming behavior, contact your medical professional, call 911, or reach out to SAMHSA’s National Helpline – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)


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