Do you remember what it is like to live sober? To wake up each and every day with clarity and focus? To handle responsibilities and daily life with ease? Or, maybe that doesn’t sound like you at all. Maybe life before your addiction was plagued with frustrations, sorrows, and struggles. Maybe that’s what led to your substance abuse in the first place. But your vice only made your life better for a short time, during the “high,” until you crashed. And your tired of the cycle, and now you want out…
In the midst of an addiction, when the alcohol or drug has such a grip on your life, the thought of a sober life can be enticing. Anything to break free from the chains of addiction that bind you so tightly.
To live sober, you must get sober. And getting sober is within your reach, one step at a time.
Taking the First Step
You probably already know this but taking the first step toward sobriety is extremely hard. You want to be free. You want to get out of the cycle of addiction. Yet, you know that doing so means an uphill battle and a change of life as you know it. YOU CAN DO THIS.
Know this: Fear is no match for your sober self. When you are feeling empowered enough to take that first step, you are already on your way. It will be scary. In fact, it might be downright terrifying.
- You will have withdrawals.
- You will have struggles.
- You will have pain.
- But, ultimately, you will survive.
As you begin acting upon your decision to get sober, you will realize that you will have to make some changes and some tough decisions. Most importantly, you will have to decide whether you will seek treatment or try to do it on your own. Getting sober is hard work, and it can be easier with professional help. Though, no matter how you choose to face it, change is inevitable. You will have to.
- Find new friends.
- Change your routine.
- Find different places to hang out.
- Learn to be more honest.
- Own your mistakes.
Struggles You’ll Encounter
Again, getting sober is not easy. It is a long journey with lots of ups and downs. You will encounter struggles that you feel ill-equipped to handle. Here are some tips:
- Know that being around others who are still using drugs or alcohol can be difficult and possibly damaging to you. You may also feel a sense of loneliness, until you find a new crowd to hang out with.
- You might get bored. You have spent many days (possibly weeks, months, years) chasing a fix – and when that activity is gone, what will you do? This can lead to a sense of restlessness and boredom.
- Small bits of emotions can come across as huge feelings early on in recovery. You may feel as though you can’t get a grip on your emotions.
- While getting sober, you will need to try to keep your stress at bay. You are already dealing with an incredible task. Keep everything else as simple as possible.
Letting go of your guilt and forgiving yourself for your past mistakes are perhaps the biggest struggles you will encounter while getting sober. It is common to want to beat yourself up for the hurt that was caused, the choices that were made, the actions that were taken, and so on. The good news is that sobriety gets better.
Benefits of Being Sober
Living a sober life may not get easier, but it does get better. In fact, there are many benefits to being sober that you have probably never even imagined. For instance, you will begin to feel better about yourself both mentally, emotionally and physically. Imagine having all the nasty toxins from the drugs and alcohol out of your system, only to be replaced with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that serve a greater purpose for fueling your body.
Another sober bonus is having more money in your pocket. Over the course of your addiction, how much money do you think you’ve spent on drugs and alcohol? Being sober means never having to waste that money again.
Of course, then there are the perks of meeting new people, starting with a fresh beginning, finding time to explore your passions, increasing self-worth, and so on. The list can keep going with overflowing blessings that come with the hard work and determination of sobriety.
Sober Living Can Help
Not everyone has a healthy home environment for getting sober. And even those who do may not feel strong enough to live there. Too much freedom and not enough “sober muscle” can lead to a relapse. To gain strength and avoid relapsing, try sober living.
Sober living residences offer you a place to live while you reintegrate back into the world as your new and improved sober self. They not only provide you room and board, but also give you a safe, structured environment where you can learn how to remain sober for the long-term. And that is not the only upside to this choice.
Sober living homes:
- Give you guidance in all things related to your future: help with job searches, resume prep, interview tips, educational goals, and so forth.
- Hold group sessions with the other residents which offer an abundance of support.
- Require mandatory chores and set schedules on when you will be coming/going (this is meant to build up your level of trust and responsibility).
- Teach daily living skills that are necessary to maintain a healthy, stable life outside of the facility.
General Advice for Taking Care of Yourself
To help you get sober, stay sober and live sober, there are several things you can do for yourself. Try these tips and watch your new, sober life transform.
- Embrace the change you are going through. Don’t fight it.
- Learn coping skills, breathing techniques, meditation, and such – then use them when you are struggling.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Never test yourself, or let anyone else “dare” you (for example, let’s see if you can handle just one…fill-in-the-blank). Your willpower is nothing to mess with. Keep yourself protected so you don’t have any opportunity for relapse.
- Discover some new hobbies. Be creative!
- Begin a fitness program.
- You might be surprised at how much doing good for others can make you feel good, too.
For getting and living sober, the best thing you can do is focus on today. Don’t worry about tomorrow and don’t remain stuck in the past. Live now – and live free.