5 Tips For Staying Soberby baladmin | September 19, 2013
Drugs and alcohol may have had a hold on your life before, but with these 5 tips for staying sober, and with a new choice of lifestyle, you will never again be under the control of harmful substances and behaviors.
1. Adopt Complete Abstinence
Commit to a life that does not include the use of any drugs or alcohol, or any behaviors that have been associated with use in the past. If you go into recovery knowing that you must remain abstinent, there will be many less surprises. As you work to stay sober, you will need to recommit each day. This process will get easier, but it must start will the adoption of a completely abstinent lifestyle.
2. Set a Goal: One Day at a Time
Although you have heard this phrase before, and maybe all too often, if you have not already, really let it sink in. If you have one goal each day when you wake up, then you will remain sober all day and you will go to sleep proud of yourself. That is all you have to worry about right now,
Anything beyond today can feel overwhelming and can take you back to a mindset of wanting to numb out, escape, or simply feel better. This is where lapses and relapses occur. If you want to stay sober, and you have committed to complete abstinence, also commit to a goal of one day at a time.
3. Set Up and Stay Connected to a Solid Support System
For every person in recovery, this group of trusted individuals will look very different. If you have family members involved, you are fortunate. Sober friends, either from before your using days or from rehab and the time since, are vitally important. Creating a sober network could be what saves you from throwing away all your hard-earned sobriety on a tough day.
Are you attending 12-Step Meetings? If you are not, make an effort to attend a few in search of a few people you can relate to and respect. You will thank yourself later. While staying sober, we all need people.
4. Listen to Yourself, Not to Your Addiction
There is a very real part of you that will always want to drink and use drugs. When you accept complete abstinence from substances, you are essentially leaving the addict part of you helpless. The decisions you made while using are different than the decisions that you make sober, so it all ties in together.
If you can decipher what you truly want from what the addict part of you wants, which you hopefully learned in treatment, you can listen to the real you and make good choices each day to stay sober.
The greatest part about getting and staying sober is the fact that you can feel good everyday. Basically the opposite of active addiction is self-care, and the two have a nearly impossible time coexisting, so when you take care of yourself, you will not want to abuse yourself.
Eating a well-balanced diet, getting adequate exercise that you enjoy, engaging in hobbies that make you feel good, maybe going back to school or to work, creating a routine that you can stick to, forming relationships with people you respect and who respect you, and many other forms of self-care will keep you choose to stay sober one day at a time.
You are worth the changes you are making. The struggle you feel right now will lessen over time, and it will always pale in comparison to the suffering that would come from continued substance abuse.
Photo Credit: demarco_photo