Now that you are sober, you may question what life after addiction looks like, and most importantly, how you can avoid relapse.
In this article, we’ve detailed a few helpful tips to guide you in the right direction, including the benefits of staying in a sober living home.
If you have been addicted and gotten sober, you have accomplished an incredible feat. You are on your way to a much better life, a sober life.
If you are new in your recovery journey, you may be wondering what sober living looks like and how you can maintain sobriety for years to come.
The truth is that it will not always be easy. There will be good days and bad days. Knowing this and having realistic expectations about sober living is crucial to success.
The first step in creating a sober life after addiction is to establish a recovery plan.
Establish a Sober Living Plan
Without a plan for how to live a sober life, you may struggle in determining what is right for your recovery and what is wrong.
A sober living plan helps you identify, avoid, and cope with triggers. It can also allow you to set goals, both short-term and long-term. Goal-setting is a great way to help you see your progress and feel rewarded upon reaching each goal.
A recovery plan helps you put together daily schedules filled with support group meetings, employment, social activities, and a list of sober supports who can help you get through tough times and celebrate the milestones.
Make Sobriety a Priority
To succeed in sobriety, you must make it a priority. What you give your attention to each day will be the most successful. You know this is true because when you were in your addiction, it was your priority, and your addiction won.
Now, you must give your sobriety the same effort you once gave your addiction.
When maintaining recovery is at the top of your to-do list, you commit to making decisions that support sobriety. For example, you don’t attend parties where you know drugs or alcohol will be served. It is easy to get caught up in worrying whether or not your friends will get mad at you for not attending their party rather than worrying about what will help you avoid a relapse.
Doing so is dangerous. Keep in mind that real friends would value your sobriety just as much as you do and encourage you to do whatever you need to do to remain sober.
Avoid Getting Overwhelmed
Yes, it has already been suggested that you fill your schedule with positive activities. This does not mean, however, to overfill your schedule to the point where you feel overwhelmed.
Make sure the tasks in your daily routine are broken down into smaller groups. Focus on accomplishing one task at a time, on the smaller steps versus the tasks as a whole.
Patience is a skill that can be improved upon with practice. It is also a skill that will help you develop a sober lifestyle after addiction.
Do not feel like you have to do as much as possible right after getting sober. Slow down. Don’t rush into or out of relationships. Relationships with friends and family members need to heal, and that does not always happen overnight. Don’t give up on mending relationships important to you just because it takes more time than you expected.
Furthermore, don’t rush into employment that is too stressful or overwhelming. You can get that job later on when you are more secure in your sober living.
Every person entering a sober lifestyle will have a different experience. Do not compare your journey to others, especially to those you feel are very successful. Don’t get caught up in negative self-comments that can lead to negative emotions that, in turn, lead to negative actions.
If you are still sober, then you are still winning.
Instead of comparing your recovery journey to others, take note of the positive steps you have made since getting sober. Pat yourself on the back for each thing you have done to avoid relapse. Give yourself healthy rewards along the way. Be inspired by what you have already accomplished.
Take Time to Heal
Drug and alcohol abuse cause trauma to the brain. Research has shown it can take a year or longer for your mind to heal from long-term addiction. Your body can also be damaged. Drugs can wreak havoc on the kidneys, liver, teeth, skin, and more.
Physical health is directly related to mental health and vice versa. You must heal both to create the best chance for success in recovery.
Sober living involves implementing tools that will help your mind and body heal. Mindfulness is one example of how to do this. Activities like meditation, yoga, exercise, and healthy eating have all been shown to improve the recovery process.
Practice Sober Living
Until you got sober, you only knew how to live like an addict. You did everything while high. Now you must learn how to live sober. To get it right, you need practice.
Sober living homes are the perfect place to practice sober skills like cooking, socializing, job searching, following through with appointments, and caring for your health. Improving everything from communication to sleep hygiene can be done while staying in a sober home.
Sober living homes also give you a place to build positive peer support, managing finances and paying bills on time, and figuring out career moves, as well as where you will live and with whom. You will have guidance in making important decisions.
You can experience the benefits of giving back to the community, giving and accepting kindness, and forgiving yourself and others.
Sober homes offer those new to sobriety a place to get to know themselves as a sober person. Figure out your talents and strengths, and put those to use in your new life. Living in a sober home gives you time to build the confidence needed to overcome obstacles many face in recovery.
You can have a remarkable sober life after addiction. Whatever phase you are in, help is available. Reach out and start your sober life after addiction today.