Overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety isn’t an easy journey. However, it is a journey well worth pursuing as it can give you a new lease on life and help you to overcome challenges in your life.
There are currently over 20 million Americans aged 12 or over with substance use disorder.
Regardless of the reason behind your addiction, or even your drug of choice, be it illicit drugs, alcohol, gambling, prescription pain medication, or food, to name a few, getting help and support and knowing how to help yourself through this challenging time is vital for you to have the best chance of success.
Now you’ve reached this point, how do you make sure you set yourself up for sobriety for the long term and sustain your progress?
Make It Your Priority
Every single day you go without using your substance is a win. Making sure you recognize this and putting it front and center of your day can help you to keep it as your focus and your main aim for that day. Regardless of what else happens each day, staying clean and sober is your goal and top priority. One day at a time.
Find A Substance Free Environment
If you are surrounded by the substances you developed an addiction to at Ohme, then returning home sober might not be in your best interests. You need to find a space that is away from all triggers and can support your sobriety. You need to feel safe and secure and be confident that your enrichment sets you up for success.
Be thankful for what you have every single day. Practicing gratitude and being appreciative of what you have and what is going well for you can help you stay in a positive mindset, which is vital for getting through recovery and maintaining your sobriety long-term. You need to change your thinking and help yourself support your new life and goals by being positive and finding positivity in the smallest of things.
While there are stories of people going it alone and getting clean without the help of additional services, your chances of success and a better recovery period are increased by using Addiction Treatment programs. That being said, you must look at the different types of recovery programs out there to find a method that works for you and gives you the best chance of recovery.
Avoid Relapse Triggers
Relapse triggers are just that. They are situations or people that can or will encourage you to undertake previous bad habits and start using your chosen substance again. This can be attending parties where you will be tempted to drink. Having out with certain friends would encourage you to pick up where you left off or even boredom or frustration.
If you feel fragile, avoid these at all costs; if you must do these types of activities, then go with sober friends or someone who will hold you accountable. Use your icing mechanisms to help you manage the temptation. Be proactive in avoiding your triggers and ensuring you can manage your feelings and actions should you encounter anything unavoidable.
Write It Down
There is something overwhelming about the thoughts in your head racing around with nowhere to go. You need an outlet to get your thoughts on, and putting them on paper can be the best way to go about this. Thoughts and feelings seem less intrusive when you write them down, and you can see them with your own eyes. Write down anything and everything you think matters. Write about how you feel, what you have done, how you slept, or even how many times you considered relapsing if the thought occurred to you. Write down what you did to escape it and any intrusive thoughts and feelings, what you did well, or what you can improve on. Anything and everything that is in your head and taking up valuable space needs to come out and be written on paper.
Find Sober Hobbies
The devil makes work for idle hands, as they say, and in recovery, this phrase is never truer. If you are bored or the only activities you know to do involve triggers or exposure to your substance of choice, then you need new hobbies.
Start doing the things you enjoy, take up a new sport, join the gym, volunteer, or find a new hobby. Whatever it is, you need to find something to fill the gap left over from your pre-recovery days to avoid you falling into bad habits.
Prioritize Your Health
Your health needs to come first. You need to ensure you are supporting your body as it needs you to so you can help yourself stay healthy physically and mentally too. Eat well, work out, and do things that make you happy. Check-in with yourself to ensure you are on track and everything works for you. But by making small changes for the better to improve nutrition and support your body, you can help yourself stay on the path to recovery.
Talk To Someone
Recovery isn’t easy. Maintaining sobriety isn’t going to be easy. But having someone to talk to who understands what you are going through can make all the difference. This can be your counselor, a therapist, an addiction support group, a mentor, or family and friends if you so wish, but having someone there you can open up with and be honest to and who will keep you accountable is what you need going forward to help you stay on the right path.
Breaking your reliance on substances is no mean feat. And it is something that should be celebrated and supported to give yourself the best chance of success. The last thing you want to do is to put in all the effort and fall off the wagon ending back at square one. So once you are ready to move into the next stage of recovery and start living your life, you need to make sure you are doing the work and giving yourself every opportunity to thrive.