10 Tips for Getting and Staying Sober
Addiction isn't just about drugs
Giving up an addiction-is a fight that will last a lifetime
How to be sober? To many this question is confusing. It can be confusing because some do not understand why a person has no clue as to how to live a sober life. To the ones addicted, living sober is confusing because they do not know how to get to a place where their addiction is not a part of their life. When we are five years old and telling people what we want to be when we grow up- no one ever says; I want to be an Addict-and struggle with my decision everyday of my life from the point I first have a taste of my poison to the day I die. No one ever says; I want to go to rehab and hurt the ones around me that love me. No one ever says; I want to slowly watch myself and my world fall apart until I hit the bottom. Addiction is frightening, because when we are addicts we relinquish control of our lives to our addiction and the addiction does not have our best interests in mind. All our addiction wants is to be fed-and as people, we must learn how to stop, say no and ask for help when we can’t resist the temptations and quit on our own.
Admitting there is a problem is still the first step…
There are things that a person can do to help them stay Sober-here are 10 Tips, amongst many that can position an addict for recovery.
1. To understand what it takes to accomplish sobriety-you must first understand addiction. Addiction is the constant feeling of needing something such as drugs, alcohol, sex or food to feel whole, to feel normal to feel alive. When an addict gives up their addiction, they often struggle and feel lost which is a large part as to why relapse is common for so many addicts. If you feel this way or think you may have a problem, consider seeking help.
2. When striving to obtain a sober life style and give up an addiction a person must first want to be sober. Realizing that a change is needed or wanted in your life is a very necessary part of the healing process. If the change is not wanted, but forced- sobriety will not be committed to and a person will more than often fall back into their past behavior and their addiction. In life you must fight for something that you need to make life better, and giving up an addiction is a fight that will last a life time.
Say what you feel so you can understand who you are
3. Although giving up and overcoming an addiction is something that must be done alone, it is beneficial to have a support group outside of family. Support Groups for recovering addicts of all sorts are out there. Take advantage of the motivation and understanding that they offer, these are people who have been exactly where you are and can help you cope with the pressures that will be presented to you on a daily bases-they can offer guidance and advice to make your goal of sobriety a reality.
4. Communication is a large part of sobriety. You must communicate to keep yourself from falling into old habits. Don’t be ashamed of your addiction-be proud of what you have overcome and share it with others. As people we all want to know that we are worthy and our lives are not wasted-sometimes sharing our skeletons and helping others can more so motivate us to keep on a straight path.
Do not set yourself up to fail
5. It is sometimes necessary to dissolve unhealthy relationships which were based around your addiction in order to stay sober. People who are in your life that were only there for the purpose of feeding an addiction are toxic additions to your life and add to your every day struggle to maintain sobriety. Distance as much as possible, the people that are the party people from your past, non sober days. They are probably not going to be the most healthy or supportive relationships for you.
6. Be honest with yourself to keep from picking up bad habits once again. When we are honest with ourselves we make our lives simpler. When we are honest we know that we are not Stone and we will have a difficult time resisting temptation, especially when we have just become sober. Don’t go to a bar that serves alcohol if you are an alcoholic. A dishonest alcoholic may try to convince themselves that their presence at the bar is for dancing or socializing. The honesty in this situation is that may be the initial intention of your presence there-but in reality, the temptation that will be presented to you is going to be strong and you may tell yourself you can handle it. Odds are you can not handle it and if you can-why put yourself in that situation to struggle.
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What else is wrong- beyond the addiction?
7. People who become addicts usually have other, underlined problems that need to be addressed. Often depression, personality disorders, coping issues and traumatic events which have not been addressed and dealt with fuel a person’s addiction. Counseling in or out of a rehab situation can better ensure that when sobriety is obtained it will be long lived. If you do not deal with the underlined issues and problems which fuel your addiction being sober will be a constant struggle as you try to deal with life's issues.
8. When you have begun to address the underlined issues of your addiction, you must be willing to make changes in your life style and you’re routine. Even when people return from a successful well accepted stay in rehab with tips on how to stay stay sober- temptations brought on by their everyday routine and familiar faces can quickly take them right back down the path they just came from. Remove these routines, and reorganize your life.
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Believe in the choice you have made to be sober
9. Don’t rush yourself to overcome everything and begin a new life, especially when it comes to having a new relationship. Relationships are great, but when an addiction is being treated and we are trying to heal-we need to give ourselves time and we need to understand that the simpler things remain for the first year, the easier things will be in the long run. Relationships, even the good ones-are still stressful and can stir up things that may need to rest awhile in order to heal.
10. Finally- believe in yourself and forgive yourself. You must believe that the pain of sobriety is worth the return of life. Don’t allow others to make you feel less for what you have done in the past. The past can not be changed and the only way the future can change is by the change you make with every choice you decide to move forward with. If someone isn’t willing to understand this or help you to believe in yourself and your decision to be sober-consider the very plausible option that they are not in your best interest to be around-and consider letting them go. Believing in yourself and everything that you can overcome and forgiving yourself for a past you can not change is an important hard to accomplish step in accomplishing and staying sober.
Pass it on...
There is no such thing as luck- this is all you and it will take hard work to let go of something that has been comforting and constant in your life. Believe in yourself today, tomorrow and everyday you stay sober---and when you have a chance-believe in someone else who is trying to fight the same fight you are fighting now.
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