When you’re suffering from an addiction, it can feel as if you’re completely alone. But the sad truth is, over 20 million people in America are dealing with at least one addiction, many of whom have multiple.
If you’re reading this article, congratulations, you’ve taken a step toward recovery and that’s something to celebrate. Learning how to get sober is the first step in a long road ahead, but knowing where you’re going and how to get there is a fantastic place to start.
To learn everything you need to know about addiction recovery, just keep reading.
Far too many people think of addiction as a sign of weakness when in reality, it’s a sign of mental illness. With that in mind, one of the best things you can do when recovering from addiction is to prioritize your mental health. Because if you do discover how to quit drinking, for example, without addressing your mental health issues, you’re far more likely to fall back into your old destructive habits.
Reaching out to a mental health professional or going to rehab for drugs and alcohol is a huge, often overwhelming step. But if you’re serious about your addiction recovery, it’s one that must be taken.
Don’t be discouraged if your first therapist doesn’t work for you. Finding the right mental health professional can take time, but finding the perfect fit can be a life-changing experience.
More often than not, addiction robs us of our support system, which is why one of the first steps you need to take when in addiction treatment is to build it back up. If at all possible, work on rebuilding relationships in recovery, specifically with family and friends.
Now, sometimes these people aren’t the best influences or are unsupportive of your goals. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to branch out and create a new “family,” full of people who are truly behind you. Remember, you don’t have to and shouldn’t go through this journey alone.
A great way to find your tribe is by joining addiction recovery groups, whether in person or online. You’ll be surrounded by people who understand what you’re going through and who can offer support when you need it most.
When you begin to break free of your addiction, you’ll find that you once again get enjoyment from the activities that you love. Having a job to occupy your time is great, but it’s important to pursue your hobbies so that your daily life stays as full and fulfilling as possible.
Think about what you love, ask yourself if there’s anything you’ve always wanted to try or learn and go after it. Maybe you want to pick up stargazing, or learn French, or pick up the guitar.
The best activities are ones that you can do with others. So once you’ve chosen a hobby or two, look for local classes or groups that get together once a week or so to practice.
Not only will you be bettering your own life, but you have the opportunity to make new friends and improve their lives as well!
One of the best tips we can give you for how to stay sober after you’ve achieved sobriety is to know your external triggers. Even the most vigilant person is going to be tempted every now and then, and sometimes things are going to happen that are beyond your control.
Know the situations that made you want to drink or use before and have a plan of attack if and when they arise. For example, your classmates in guitar lessons might want to go out for drinks one day after the lesson. You need to have a response prepared beforehand, even if you have to write it down and memorize it.
And don’t stop there. You also need to have an attractive alternative to going out for drinks. Maybe you call a friend or a member of your support group, go to the gym, or take yourself out for a movie night. It doesn’t matter what your plan is, as long as you have one that works for you.
Recovering from addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long and difficult road, but one that’s well worth taking. However, because it’s so tough, it can sometimes be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This is why it’s essential that you celebrate all your wins, no matter how small. Even if you’ve only been sober for a day, take a moment (or several) to take that in. You did it. You’re on your way. You’re changing your life for the better and that deserves a round of applause.
Include your friends, family, or support group in your celebrations. Go out for a meal, have a game night, or simply give someone a call to talk about how far you’ve come. Always take the time to acknowledge your victories and feel gratitude for your strength.
Now that you know how to get sober, it’s time to put your knowledge to action. It’s never too late to get better.
No matter how long you’ve been struggling with addiction, you can change your life – it all starts with the decision to do so. And nothing is stopping you from making that decision today.
Looking for more tips for getting the most out of your recovery and your life? Be sure to check out our blog for everything from the benefits of hypnosis to how to build the perfect workout plan.