Sober living may seem like an impossible dream when you’re still struggling with addiction, but it’s possible for everyone. You can live a fulfilling life when you choose to go on the path that will make you happier and healthier.
However, even though you may already be resolved to be sober, it won’t be an easy journey for you. You’ll be facing temptations, challenges, and unsupportive people along the way. Nevertheless, with commitment and the support of the people you love, you can stand firm and avoid having a relapse.
Here’s everything you need to know about sober living.
Admitting Your Struggle
The first step is always recognizing you have a problem. It’s normal to feel scared or ashamed to admit to yourself that you have become dependent on dangerous substances to deal with your feelings or your issues in life. However, realizing that this habit isn’t something that can offer you a permanent solution is very empowering.
Seeking Professional Help
It’s certainly possible to quit cold turkey on your own and without any outside assistance. However, few people actually succeed in this route, and many find themselves relapsing in just a short period of time. For more long term recovery and sober living, it’s better to go to addiction treatment centers or detox facilities like the Alchemy House.
The medical professionals in these institutions are equipped with medication, treatment plans, and technology to ensure that you recover safely. Here are some of the top advantages of choosing a professional recovery facility.
- It has counselors that will help you discover any deeper, underlying issues that made you turn to substance dependence in the first place to boost your self-worth.
- It implements programs that are geared towards long-term sobriety, such as an exercise routine designed to enhance overall health.
- It implements a strict schedule where patients are required to participate in activities and prevent boredom and stress.
- It provides after-care support which helps patients maintain a healthier lifestyle and exert more control over all the aspects of their lives once they’re done with the program.
When you’re recovering, it’s important to set the goals you want to achieve. Goal-setting can help you visualize your progress better. It’s also crucial you have something to look forward to, something that you can cross off a list to feel accomplished about how far you’ve come.
Short-term goals such as talking to your family members or cutting certain friends out of your life are definitely helpful. However, it’s just as important to pursue long-term ones such as completing your degree or finding a new job. Long-term goals help you find purpose in your life and motivate you to strive harder.
Standing Strong in the Face of Temptation
Even though you may have already decided to stay sober, temptations and challenges will be obstructing your way. The most important thing to keep in mind whenever you encounter them is that you’re making the right choice for yourself and your loved ones. Yours is a decision that will bring you inner peace and more happiness in the future.
Here are some tips to help you remain steadfast in your choice even in the face of temptation.
- Prepare definite responses in advance
You should never underestimate the power of peer pressure. One of the top reasons why many people struggle with staying sober is the influence of their friends and loved ones. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you know you need to say no, make sure that you have a response that will let them know about the change you’re making in your life.
Make a stand and stick to your guns. No matter what happens or who persuades you to choose otherwise, don’t give in.
- Make healthy relationships
It might seem harsh to think about, but going sober is also the perfect time to make new friends and ditch your old and toxic ones. When you’re embracing a new path, you may need to leave behind those who will only stand in your way.
Although you don’t need to hurt their feelings, you should be as firm as possible and cut out the negative relationships in your life. Instead, stay focused on living a healthy life that’s filled with relationships that are founded on love, support, trust, and honesty.
If you find it hard to make new friends, spend more time with family members who are supportive of your decision. Furthermore, consider joining a support group with people like you who are in recovery. This is also a great way to meet new people who can inspire you to develop a healthier lifestyle.
- Be honest
Although you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone, it can be challenging to stay sober when no one you care about knows about your situation. It might mean finally admitting to your friends and family members about your struggles with addiction, but being honest will allow them to provide the support you need during this difficult time.
Never think that your addiction is something that should remain as a shameful secret. Your loved ones will most likely appreciate your honesty and be happy about your decision to go sober. You may have made the wrong choices in the past, but at this point, you should be proud of yourself for finally choosing the right one.
Cultivating New Interests
Once you’ve decided to live a life of sobriety, you’re facing an entirely new frontier. It will be difficult for you to keep the same habits and practices that you had before. This is perhaps the perfect time to find new and better ways to spend your time.
Check out interests and hobbies that you have never tried before. Learning and exploring new activities is also an effective way to prevent yourself from getting bored and regressing to your old habits. Below are some things you can try out:
- Follow a structured schedule
Medical experts claim that one of the biggest hindrances for recovery is an unstructured or chaotic daily schedule. To achieve the goals that you have set for yourself, you need to develop a structured schedule that outlines your plans for the day and the week.
- Become physically active
One of the worst things about getting addicted to alcohol or dangerous drugs is the adverse effect these substances have on your health. No matter how long you were using, it’s very likely that you’re not in your best shape.
A great way to address this as well as to reduce the stress that you might be feeling by going sober is to pursue exercising and other physical activities. Finding the right workout routine will also help prevent you from getting bored and relapsing to fill in the time.
By becoming healthier physically, emotionally, and mentally, you can be assured that you can maintain your sobriety for a long time to come.
- Find a job
Statistics show that most people who have a substance dependence issue also find it difficult to maintain a job or meet their responsibilities at work. If you have been dealing with your addiction for a long time, it’s quite likely that you’re also now dealing with financial problems.
Although finding a job can be a significant source of stress and possible relapse, you do not need to return to work immediately. Your goal, first and foremost, is to stay clean and be healthier. When you’re ready, you can go about the process of finding a job that you actually enjoy and are confident in. This would definitely go a long way into improving your financial situation and helping you craft a better future for yourself.
Maintaining Balance in Your Life
One of the things that most addicts and recovering addicts have in common is their tendency to be compulsive. When you’re getting started on your road to recovery, it can be so easy to substitute your compulsion with addictive substances with another new addiction which may initially seem like a healthy and beneficial aspect of sober living.
For instance, some recovering addicts approach their new diet, or their physical fitness routine, or even their membership in a support group with the same compulsion that they have for drugs or alcohol. Although this may seem productive in the beginning, the only thing it’s accomplishing is a transfer of compulsions.
Compulsive behavior, even when directed towards healthy habits, will be a considerable hindrance for your sobriety. As much as possible, create a healthy balance and learn to have better control over your choices and all the aspects of your life.
If you’re in the process of staying sober, remember that there’s no reason for you to go through this difficult phase on your own. Having a stable support system, in the form of your loved ones, a support group, or a team of medical professionals, will be crucial to ensure a successful and long-term recovery.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to sober living is that the process is different for everyone. What may work for another person is not guaranteed to work you. Don’t be discouraged if your recovery is taking longer than you expected. What is important is that you’re moving forward with your decision to make things right.