Sobriety is a long road – and it is far from straight. There are so many twists, turns, uphill climbs, downhills, and unexpected speedbumps. You never know what you will encounter on this road you are on. The only thing you can do is drive forward, keep your eyes on the road, and both hands on the wheel.
There is no end to your sobriety, either. Once you become sober, you will continuously be working to remain sober. You must practice the skills you learn along the way and make the necessary changes in your life to accommodate your new – sober – way of living.
Lifelong sobriety can be challenging and rewarding. As long as you are dedicated to moving forward, you will. In the meantime, we have a few ideas that may assist you on your journey – from getting sober to living sober.
Committing to Your Sobriety
First and foremost, you must be committed. The keyword in the previous sentence is must. Sobriety is not something that you can do halfway. You must be willing to give it everything you have – even when the times get rough and when (or if) you relapse.
Committing to yourself and your sobriety is a much bigger deal than committing to take your sister’s dog for a walk. Sometimes it’s okay to put yourself and your needs first. This is definitely true when it comes to getting and living sober. Make the promise of committing to:
- Taking pride in yourself.
- Taking one day at a time.
- Exercising each day.
- Finding some new, positive friends.
- Being honest with yourself.
Embracing Acceptance and Change
With anything in life – including life itself – change is inevitable. It is going to happen. So, you can either fight it or latch on to it. When it comes to your sobriety, you will definitely want to accept any changes that come your way. Because, well, there will be a lot of them. You will need to create new routines for yourself, find a new group of friends, discover new habits, and so forth.
Sobriety means having to change your life from being an addict to become a sober addict in recovery. It’s a tough, yet vital change. The more willing you are to accept these changes, the more success you will have in healing yourself.
Practicing Self-Love and Self-Care
Now is the time when you need to forgive yourself for the things that you have done and let go of all of your dumb choices, decisions, and mistakes of the past. Let today be Day One and move forward from here.
Your addiction has beaten you up – physically, mentally, and emotionally. If anyone needs love and kindness after all you have put it through, it is you. So be good to yourself and love yourself, because practicing and achieving mental wellness is extremely fundamental to maintaining your sobriety. This can be done by:
- Learning meditation.
- Practicing positive affirmations.
- Leaving love notes for yourself.
- Going for long walks.
- Eating healthy.
- Indulging in the happy things you love and enjoy most.
Being Humble and Gracious
You have survived. Many others who had addictions just like you did not. They will never get the chance to live sober because they never had the opportunity to get sober. Be grateful that you are. Keep a journal and write down at least one thing every day that you are thankful for. And, don’t forget the small things.
The benefit to keeping a gratitude journal is that when you encounter a rough day – which you will – you can always go back and flip through your journal to remind yourself of all the blessings you have in your life.
Setting Smart and Achievable Recovery Goals
Goal-setting may sound like something you have no desire to do at the moment, but by creating a goal, you will give yourself focus.
Here’s how to start: Think about something you have always wanted to do or something you’d love to accomplish – even if it seems far-fetched. That is your goal. Then, create smaller goals that will help you progress along the way.
Nothing has to be set in stone and it doesn’t have to be perfect. The idea is to give yourself something positive to focus on – and something to work towards.
Your goal may concern your education or employment. It could be to travel to someplace you’ve always wanted to go. It could be to learn a new hobby or compete in a new sport. Or, perhaps your goal is to move forward in your new sober life by taking steps to make changes in your life.
Discovering New Healthy, Fun, Sober Activities
No matter where you are on your sobriety journey, try discovering new ways to have fun. Find a new hobby or explore new things you have never done. Your old ways of spending your time and having fun were toxic. So, in order to maintain your recovery road, you will need to replace those old things with new things.
There are many things that can be just as fun – and probably more fun – than your old habits. And, you better believe that you can have a ton of fun without the use of drugs or alcohol.
So, learn photography, join an adult sports team, take a painting class, remodel your living space to match the new you, start volunteering at local shelters, befriend someone who is new to their sobriety, become a dog walker, try your hand at baking, and so forth.
There are many things you can do for fun – it is up to you to discover them. You will find that you now have more free time than ever, so don’t sit around and waste it. Fill up your free time with things that make you feel good.
Once you start living sober, you will discover so many positive changes. Your relationships with friends and family will improve and so will your health and appearance. You will find more money in your pocket, more energy to do all the things you have wanted to do, and a new outlook on life.
So, whether you are currently getting sober or living sober, don’t lose your focus. The outcome is beautiful.