Top 6 Ways To Keep Yourself Focused On Your Sobriety
So, you did it. You have taken the leap and decided that it was time to give sobriety a try. Maybe you have hit rock bottom, or maybe you just decided that the relationship with alcohol was turning out to be quite an unhealthy one. Whatever the reason, you have taken it upon yourself to try abstaining from alcohol, which really means diving into a whole new lifestyle that may be completely unfamiliar to you.
Of course, if you ask anyone going through this process no matter at what point they may be at, 99/100 will express feelings of being overwhelmed at the beginning stages. These stages can be pretty scary at times, but it is extremely important to always know that you are not alone in any of these struggles. The move from a supported environment back to normal living can be a very tough transition for many people. After leaving an addiction treatment rehab center for example, you may find yourself often being put in different trigger situations. Basically meaning that you could be with certain friends or at certain locations where you can be put in a situation that could spark the thought of reverting back to those old habits that you are currently trying to get away from. Being in this newly found sober lifestyle, being open to different advice from others could be a huge help.
Here is a top 6 list that we comprised based off of all that we have found and that we preach to individuals every day:
- Make sure this new lifestyle decision is YOUR choice.
Probably one of, if not the single most important step of this process is to do it for the right reasons. Going into this with the mindset that you just need to get it over with so you can tell everyone you did it is possibly the worst thing you could do and playing games like that with yourself can be very dangerous and even in some cases, deadly. If you are trying to stay clean for the long haul, it is important that you get away from your old routines, habits, and hangouts. Sometimes it is helpful for people new to recovery just to make changes. It doesn’t really matter what changes, just as long as it is different. Making these changes will help you prove to yourself that you are willing to take the necessary steps to really go all-in and that you are focused on achieving this goal.
- Have ONLY healthy relationships.
Like many who are suffering from addiction, you may have gotten to the point that the closest relationship that you had was with your drug of choice. It seriously could be that only “friend” you had left with the people you bought your drugs from or who you did drugs with coming in at a close 2nd. So, now that you are sober, you may have discovered that your past relationships were not only unhealthy but downright toxic. But, it’s not just your drinking buddies and drug dealers who can get you into trouble. Sometimes those who are closest to you can be the ones who have contributed the most. Family members, friends, or even employers who have been enabling you without even knowing it could all be possible. These things are important for you to realize and have the discipline to make the right decisions concerning these things. As you may imagine, it would not be very hard to believe that research has shown time and time again that if you maintain these types of relationships, your chances of relapsing are greater.
- Learn more about preventing relapse.
We have seen that there are those who are in recovery that say the best advice they could give to any newcomers is simply “go to meetings!” Obviously, by just going to meetings, things are not going to all of a sudden get easier and easier for you. We see that most who want to stay clean keep searching and find as many tools as they can to implement in their lives, along with keeping a good attendance at the AA meetings.
- Occupy yourself, get a job.
Recovering addicts frequently have problems meeting work-related responsibilities, maintaining employment, and managing their money. If you were active in your addiction for a period of time, chances are you have developed financial problems of some sort. Although returning to work itself could be stressful enough to set off a relapse trigger, it is important as you return to the workforce that you use all the support you can find to help you maintain your goal of staying clean.
- Become physically active.
If you drink excessively and were addicted to drugs for any significant length of time, there is a good chance your health was affected. Chances are you are not in the best physical shape. Exercise and recreational activities can reduce stress, which can be a major trigger for relapse. Physical activity can also reduce boredom, another relapse trigger. Basically, maintaining a healthy diet and physically active lifestyle can restore a sense of balance in your life and therefore benefit you emotionally.
- Let go of resentments of the past.
Resentments are an obstacle that many addicts have to deal with in their recovery and it can be very difficult to address. If you are holding onto resentments in recovery, it can poison your relationships with others and ultimately undermine your recovery. In order to move forward, you plainly just need to quit thinking of the past. We know we know, it is easier said than done, but it really is a necessary component in your recovery. Learning how to forgive is the main way you can accomplish that goal. Forgiveness is of itself a major speed bump in the simple fact that we harbor a lot of pain in what has happened to us in the past. We also stumble in learning how to forgive because we may not know the true meaning of the word. Forgiveness is totally up to us, and we have the power not to forgive someone if that relationship is unhealthy for you and your recovery.