Nobody said that it would be easy. Working toward lifelong sobriety is a daily task that involves practicing the best habits to create a new lifestyle that won’t have you looking for a relapse.
Practicing Self Care
Self Care is the practice of doing things to take care of yourself in the way that you need it. Each person’s self care regiment will be different because people receive love and relax in different ways. When we don’t take care of ourselves we fall out of sync with the flow of life. We depend too much on other people to fill our needs and make us happy instead of relying on ourselves. That leads to resentment, irritability, and discontent which can be relapse triggers. On those days when it is hard to think about anything other than using, practicing self care will help you remember that it is better to love yourself with things you like than harm yourself with drugs or alcohol.
So many people get sober for their children, spouse, family, parents, or job. Often, those people do not achieve longterm sobriety. Since they are not working a program of recovery for themselves, they lose sight of the meaning of their recovery. Life is made of meaning. Without meaning, there is little to live for, let alone stay sober for. Many people find meaning in the idea of being to service to other alcoholics and addicts who are still struggling or in the beginning phases of recovery. Whatever your reason is for staying sober, remind yourself of that as often as possible.
Addicts and alcoholics tend to act within extremes. It might take getting extremely uncomfortable and in emotional pain before reaching out for support or help. Sometimes, that can mean walking a fine line where relapse waits on the other end. Rather than constantly suffer, be proactive in your recovery. Make sure you get to the meetings, aftercare groups, and sessions that are part of your recovery. At the first sign of troublesome thinking, get honest with a sponsor, peer, or trusted individual from your support network. By staying ahead of the game, you reduce your risk of turning back to drugs and alcohol to cope.
Taking Things One Day At A Time
“First things first” as it is said in recovery. Remember that you only have today and that’s the only day that matters. It is easy to get swept up in depression ruminating or reminiscing about the past. It is equally easy to get swept up in anxiety and worry about the future. Doing so takes you out of the present moment, which is where life is actually happening right now.
Sticking With The Winners
Staying close to the people who are constantly relapsing or aren’t working a solid program is not going to be inspiring or supportive for your recovery. You’ll want to look for the people who handle their life as it comes, with grace, courage, and sobriety. All kinds of things become possible with a sober life. Look to people who are making the most out of their new lives without drugs or alcohol.
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, But Celebrate Some Of It
It is important not to sweat the small stuff you have no control over. However, it is also important to celebrate the small stuff you have had control over. Celebrate your small victories, even if you’re the only one who can understand them. Recovery is full of tiny accomplishments which, to others, might seem like normal life. Yet, for a recovering addict, grocery shopping alone for the first time, or getting a new job and keeping it, are big deals. In early recovery at twelve step meetings, tokens are given to people every 30 days. Making it one, two, three months without a drink or drug is no small accomplishment. Give yourself credit where it is due and be proud of the amazing work you are doing in your recovery.