While achieving and maintaining sobriety can and has been done time and again, there is no arguing the fact that it is challenging. Simply moving from addiction to full sobriety can be a long, difficult journey, especially when many individuals struggle between the knowledge that their addiction is harming them and the feeling that they also cannot live without their addiction. It is, perhaps, for this reason, that so many individuals who are seeking to achieve and maintain their sobriety must literally live day-by-day, and recommit themselves to their sobriety often. The New Year is a perfect time to do this.
Recommitting to Sobriety
First of all, it is important to recognize the fact that sobriety isn’t achieved through hopeless longing or desperation. Neither is it achieved through someone waiting for a sudden, magical recovery at the hands of another. Rather, it is a hard-won condition achieved through dedication and commitment. It’s true that some individuals wait to hit “rock-bottom” before making a change in their life, but this is not necessary or smart, as one is essentially playing with death. Instead, one needs to desire a life free from addictive substances and decide that they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. With this resolve, they can gain the help they need from others in order to address the many physical, mental and emotional causes and effects of addiction and move forward into a healthier, happier future.
Even when an individual has experienced many of the wonderful benefits of sobriety, they can sometimes find it difficult to remain committed to their sobriety. This is especially true if drugs or alcohol once permitted them to escape from problems or challenges they encountered in their life, as problems and challenges will inevitably continue to crop up in their future. It may be true that over time, coping with the difficulties of one’s life without turning back to drugs or alcohol can become easier. However, any moment of weakness can be hard to work through if one forgets what they are working so hard to achieve. Recommitting to sobriety puts one in a position of taking action in their life, which can make it easier to take further actions that strengthen their sobriety.
So how does one recommit to their sobriety? Following are some suggestions:
- Find a sober friend to confide in. There is a lot of strength in having your intentions toward sobriety known by a supportive friend. Even in a moment of extreme weakness, you are unlikely to want to give in and “disappoint your friend”. Furthermore, they can lend one an ear when necessary, and be there to support one whenever needed.
- Consider recovery meetings. It can be incredibly disheartening to feel that one is walking the path to sobriety on their own and that no one else truly comprehends what they are working through. Attending recovery meetings allows one to hear from others who are working through many of the same challenges they are working through and take hope in their continuing recovery.
- Change your lifestyle routines and patterns. Whatever lifestyle routines and patterns contributed to addiction should be entirely dispensed with, as they will obviously not aid one in maintaining their sobriety. Find new social and recreational activities that promote sobriety and allow you to see the fun in life.
- Find or create celebrations that do not include any sort of controlled substance use. It is often at celebrations that controlled substance use occurs, and it can be difficult to avoid cravings and relapse triggers when one is surrounded by others who are freely using drugs or alcohol. Instead, find or create sober celebrations for you and supportive friends.
It may be challenging, and sometimes outright difficult, to maintain one’s sobriety indefinitely, but it is definitely well worth the effort. Recommitting to one’s sobriety makes it easier to remember what one is fighting for, and continue the fight through lasting victory.