What does a sober life look like to you? The transition to living a sober life takes patience and inner strength, but it’s not impossible.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the helpful tips and steps to start living a sober life.
What do you envision when you think of yourself living a sober life? Are you sitting around the dinner table laughing with family? Are you a successful business professional? Or are you traveling and experiencing other cultures?
What if we told you that you could be sober and have all of these things.
There are millions of people living a sober life across the United States. You can become a member of this group. We want to teach you how. Focus only on one step at a time, starting with the ones below.
You may think this is the hardest part, but it doesn’t have to be. Getting sober the right way means seeking supervised treatment. This means getting an evaluation by a professional at a treatment facility that can provide everything from medical detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, and transitioning to a sober home.
Getting sober the right way means following through with each of these steps, not skipping around. Treatment is designed to be intensive in the beginning, when you need the most help. Then you progress through less intense stages.
People who follow through with all the stages have a better chance of avoiding relapse. They help you stay in recovery, giving your brain the time to recuperate from drug use.
Take Advantage of Sober Living
If you wanted to learn to become a pilot, you must go to an academy and learn how planes work. You must learn how to fly a plane. Then, you spend many hours practicing what you learned in class. You test your skills by flying with supervision. Once you have practiced and feel confident piloting a plane, you are ready to fly solo.
This same analogy applies to sobriety. If you go to detox and straight back into your old lifestyle, you are likely to relapse. You haven’t learned the skills you need to live a sober life yet.
Detox should be followed by intensive treatment where you learn skills. Then, practice. Sober homes offer this time for you to implement the skills you learned. This type of practice living boosts your confidence, so when it is time to return home, you can have a sober life like so many others in America.
Relearn Basic Living Skills
When someone is in a car accident and experiences brain trauma, they sometimes must relearn how to walk, talk, eat, and take care of themselves during their rehabilitation.
Drugs and alcohol cause trauma to the brain. So, it is understandable that those who are getting sober also need to relearn the basics of living. It may have been years since you last cooked, cleaned, ate, drove, worked, or even bathed sober. You must learn to do everything sober now.
Relearning living skills while at a sober home protects you from just being thrown back into society, where you are expected to be high functioning right away. Feeling overwhelmed can be stressful and lead to relapse.
Take the extra time you need to relearn the skills needed to be happy in your daily life as a sober person.
Learn Advanced Life Skills
Once you have relearned your basic life skills, you can focus on more advanced life skills, like finding and keeping a job, creating and sticking to a budget, communication and problem-solving, creating a schedule, and a healthy diet and nutrition.
You may also want to spend time improving computer skills for work-related projects, like learning PowerPoint. This is not a time to advance your Call of Duty skills. Focus on skills that can benefit you in your sober life.
Once you improve skills and establish sober living habits, start finding what makes you happy.
Find Your New Self
You know who you were. You were an addict. Your daily life consisted of finding ways to get high, getting high, coming down off the high, anxiety over getting your next high, and repeat.
Be proud you are not this person anymore.
To avoid jumping back into that cycle, you must find your new self. How will you fill your time to live a sober life?
To find your new self, create opportunities to decide what you like and don’t like. Attend classes at a local community college. What are your hobbies? Keep a journal on your goals and dreams so you can review them on occasion. You can also set small, realistic goals that can help you achieve your dreams.
Set Small Goals
For example, is staying sober for six months is your first goal. This is doable. After you identify the goal, list the steps it will take to get there. For staying sober, small goals can include attending weekly meetings, attend counseling, and keep a journal.
If you want to get a job in the medical field, your small goals may include taking certification courses and job shadowing a medical professional.
Long-term goals are great, too, but when you are just starting your sober life, stick with the smaller, more achievable goals so you can see quick progress that can give you the motivation to keep going.
Life is meant to be shared with people who support your sobriety and positive growth and development. Who are those people in your life? Meet with each one of them and explain what you need from them and give them back to the relationship.
Receiving support is just as important as giving support. Giving back and helping those in need is rewarding and can motivate you to continue living a sober life.
Sometimes it is easier to give support than to receive. However, long-term sobriety is more attainable when you have help. Support can come from a counselor, your sober living peers, sober friends and family, support group members, church friends, and even on-line communities.
Create your support system with your needs in mind to stay on track in your addiction recovery. If you do the work, you will be successful.