What Happens in the First 90 Days?

What Happens in the First 90 Days?

Now that we are at the end of the year, you have probably seen all the challenges to make the last 90 days of the year great or heard in meetings to do “90 in 90” – 90 meetings in 90 days. The question you may be asking is what is the big deal about 90 days anyway? Typically speaking, most habits, including a recovery program, need a solid 90 days for the groundwork to settle. The thought process behind 90 days is that the first 30 days is meant to break the habit, the second 30 days is to create the new habit, and the last 30 days of the 90 days is to lock in whatever you are trying to achieve. 

In recovery, however, the first 90 days of sobriety is often a time of self-discovery and exasperation from trying to break the addiction of picking up drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism in life. The relapse rate in the first 90 days is generally very high for someone who is trying to find a way out of their addiction. Without the proper support and tools, going back to drugs and alcohol will be evitable because the likelihood of you being able to stay on track on your own accord is almost nil. There is an immense amount of anxiety and stress that happens in the first 90 days even though you probably feel better in many other ways. The obsession of addiction can totally take you over if you do not have a defense against that first drink or drug. Understanding these pressures in early sobriety is important to pinpoint so you can have a better chance of foregoing relapse and remain sober. 


There is a period of time for everyone who gets sober in which they go through withdrawal. Whether you are going through a medically safe detox or doing it on your own, you will most likely suffer some sort of withdrawal. Even if you do not experience the physical symptoms of withdrawal that include could include shaking, sweating, nausea, or migraine, the psychological effects can be pretty brutal. Although most people associate severe withdrawal with cessation, there is a varying degree of withdrawal that everyone endures when grieving the loss of drugs and alcohol that can come through in mental and physical symptoms.


You may have found that many of your relationships have encountered bridges being burned because of your drinking and using. Most likely your intentions were not to hurt them even though this has been the unfortunate outcome. People who seem disappointed in your actions and your words could make you struggle with shame and guilt when you are around them. Your feelings may be hurt when people appear skeptical of your sobriety because of your past conduct. This could cause you to relapse if you feel like you are the black sheep or not supported by your loved ones even though you have stopped drinking or using. The main aspect to consider in your first 90 days is that even though you are doing your very best to rectify your behavior, time takes time. Working the steps, participating in individual or group therapy, and sharing in meetings can help to transform you into the person that you were meant to be. Although you may be getting sober to improve your relationships, you must do it for yourself first and foremost and everything else will follow. 


Most likely your self-worth and confidence took a huge hit when you were in the throes of your addiction. Drugs and alcohol lower inhibitions and probably caused you to do some incomprehensible demoralizing things that you would never attempt sober. When your addiction took ahold of you and you could not stop what you were doing due to the obsession of the mind that told you that you are not drunk or high enough. When this happened, you went to any lengths to stay sober and displayed behaviors that represent the” Dr. Jekyll” inside of you. Becoming a liar, cheat, and a thief is a normal rite of passage in addiction and strips away your dignity. Remembering what you did while you were drinking and using can cause you to continuously beat yourself up in sobriety. The good news is that your recovery program can help you to iron out all the adversity you are feeling towards your degrading behaviors. Going to meetings to relate to others who also feel the way you feel is important to know you are not alone. 

The first 90 days in sobriety is important to build a solid foundation in your recovery. If you relapse now you will end up right where you left off in your addiction. When you first got sober, you were desperate to be where you are right now at this very moment. Keep going and you will reap the benefits one day at a time. 

Offering a full range of recovery and mental health services, Valiant Living offers “Expanded Recovery” to enrich our clients’ lives in mind, body, and spirit. Through evidence-based therapy options and the endless adventure of Colorado, Valiant fosters connection, encouraging clients to get connected to themselves, their peers, their families, and their higher power. With the power of recovery, clients are restored to full health and experience life-changing healing. Call us today for more information: 303-536-5463