A lot of addicted people experience a relapse during the first stages of recovery from the addiction. Achieving sobriety means leading a life free of drugs or alcohol. One should keep a healthy and balanced life both physically and emotionally. How does one achieve physical and emotional sobriety? Physical and emotional sobriety means having power over your cravings and feelings. Negative thoughts trigger the use of drugs or alcohol. Hence, you should think and feel positive during the recovery. The optimistic attitude will assist you to accomplish your sobriety goals.
Develop a plan for achieving recovery, which is realistic and achievable. Stay motivated throughout the process. The strong willpower and inspiration might be all you need to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. The recovery period can be the most difficult period in your life, but with clear objectives, you can stick to your plan and triumph.
It is a choice to recover and thus you should do all it requires to succeed. Medical, family and friend’s support is paramount in achieving sobriety. Having people around you who encourage you can keep you on the right path to recovery. During the group therapies and meetings, you learn how to deal with your struggles without depending on drugs. The skills assist you to keep off from drugs and alcohol.
Not all addicted people are able to overcome addiction and gain sobriety. Staying away from individuals or places that are tempting is an initial step towards sobriety. Going to the same places you used to go before and hanging out with the same friends can trigger a relapse.
Ideally, when recovering you experience loneliness, depression, anxiousness, and many other negative feelings. To achieve sobriety you should learn how to enjoy life without relying on substances or alcohol. Keeping yourself busy, engaging in outdoor activities and developing new hobbies helps you boost your mental well-being.
Most addicted people got into drugs as escapism from emotional problems. People turn into drugs to avoid the reality of life’s struggles and trauma such as broken relationships, loss of job, the death of loved ones, low self-esteem, mental conditions, and many other negative emotions and reactions. Drugs contain elements that alter the brain, hence hiding the emotions and strengthening patterns of denial.
Rather than avoiding or escaping your problems, you should dedicate yourself and face them. Being honest with yourself and accepting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Denying emotional turmoil can inhibit you from progressing into sobriety. If you acknowledge the feelings without judging yourself will help you in overcoming the emotions. The feelings loose the power to dictate your behaviors.
The treatment plan focuses on assisting you to be comfortable with the reality regardless of what it is. The aim is to be true with yourself both in happy and sad moments. The journey to emotional sobriety is unique in each person since people have different struggles in life. The treatment is personalized to your needs. You learn how to accept the reality, avoid dwelling on the past, and looking forward to the future with an open mind.
Achieving emotional sobriety means that you are able to control your emotions, face painful memories with a positive attitude and without fear, resist the urge to engage in risky activities, and live at the present instead of concentrating in the past or ignoring the future. Also, once you are sober emotionally, you will be able to maintain a balanced view of life. You should accept that life is full of ups and downs.
Physical sobriety implies not consuming alcohol or drugs. Avoiding drugs is mandatory, but it is not enough for recovery from addiction. Achievement of physical sobriety takes strength and you might not believe that you can make it. Regardless of the temptations, you should not take the substance. Embracing physical sobriety makes you gain the freedom to avoid committing the same mistakes again.
Many people focus on physical sobriety but never address their emotions properly. Ignoring the emotional issues that could have led you to abuse drugs is a possible way of triggering a relapse.
Strategies for Successful Sobriety
Every person wants some tips on how to ‘make it’ quickly and in a simple way at rehab. Who doesn’t want an easy and comfortable solution to sobriety? People who are recovering from drug addiction want solutions to their doubts, anxiousness, fears, and regrets. Sorry to disappoint you. That plan has not been discovered yet.
However, it doesn’t imply that there are no known effective solutions to comfortable plan for recovery. Just the way treatment programs are different for different people, the strategies to sobriety are different amongst people. What worked for another person isn’t a guarantee that it will be effective for you.
However you can apply the following strategies, they might assist you to achieve sobriety. But if they don’t apply to you, be innovative and find other means of getting away from the drug of your choice, both physically and emotionally.
- Stick to your Plan
You have decided to stay away from drugs and alcohol. You are committed to starting a new life. Most probably, you have a plan that includes an eating pattern, sleeping pattern, and workout times. All of this is to ensure you help the body heal from the damage from drugs and to keep you occupied.
Attend appointments with your specialist and 12-step group meetings. It will take a time to get used to the things that have been recommended. However, with consistency and a positive attitude, you will enjoy them. Having a daily routine to follow can be easier and gives you the foundation of building a new life.
- Share the plan and challenges
Discuss any things that could be hindering you to recover from drug and alcohol addiction. Keeping them to yourself with only make them strong and hard to fight. Let the fears out by sharing them. You can talk to a close relative like your spouse or a close friend about the urge to consume the drug.
At the rehab, feel free to share your plan with your specialist and your peers. If you are facing a difficulty, chances are somebody is going through it too or has been there or will face it later. Sharing the fear in your heart and mind will not only help you, but it might motivate someone else. The recovery programs are based on ‘we’ – you can’t achieve sobriety on your own.
- Keep yourself busy
It is said, an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. You are no longer with the friends whom you took the substance with before joining the rehab. One may feel lonely and bored a normal feeling. Whenever you feel like consuming the drug to avoid boredom, loneliness or restlessness talk with your support group and the doctor.
Feel free to make new friends and try new things while at the rehab. Try to return to your earlier hobbies and pick up new ones too. Join a gym or workout from home to keep yourself busy. Also, find a job or continue with your classes to keep your time occupied. Having various things in your mind that you can engage in will create feelings of self-worth.
- Write down the plan
Putting the plan on a paper makes it simple. You can always go back and refer. Researchers claim that a disorganized lifestyle can stop you from recovering from addiction. Developing a plan and writing it down can help you to stick to your goals of sobriety. Also, the plan might also help you accomplish other objectives in your life.
- Avoid temptation
The same people, the same places will surely get you back to taking the drug. The cravings for the substance during recovery are normal, but you should come up with ways of compelling it when it occurs. You know situations that might be tempting. Avoid them no matter how difficult it can be.
Despite the period you have been sober, being with that friend you used to smoke marijuana with or going at the pub you used to drink at, will infringe on your sobriety. Or rather, hang around friends you have made at the rehab and go to places which do not remind you of your past addiction life. If you stay at home during the recovery, don’t keep any substance at home.
- Take One Day at a Time
Sobriety is a long-term process, and you can’t achieve it overnight. Fight the drug addiction day by day and celebrate any achievement. One day without the drug is worth a celebration. Don’t stress yourself on how you will be able to live without drugs for the next month; focus on one day, the next day, and lastly, it will become a week, month, months, and years. Eventually, sobriety will be a life-term goal.
Learn to keep the long view. Give yourself enough time to master the plan and other skills you feel they are comfortable for recovery. The most important thing is to live day by day and to fully commit to the plan.
- Use skills and knowledge acquired at rehab
You learned a lot while at the rehab. Apply those skills in real life situations to avoid temptations. Skills like meditation, how to surrender to a higher power, and other coping skills. The specialists have taught you how to avoid peer pressure and other external triggers. You practiced them at the facility and now it is time you apply them in your real life outside.
- Learn from your mistakes
We all learn from mistakes. People get into drugs due to avoidance of bad things they committed. Also, due to their drug abuse, they have hurt a lot of people and hence feel guilty. During recovery, mistakes are part of the program. Naturally, no one desires to make mistakes and there is no a recipe to hurt people.
As you recover you will commit mistakes, despite your best intentions. Accept that changing your lifestyle requires time and there will be setbacks. You don’t start out and succeed at once or get answers to all your questions. It requires time and a lot of practice.
If you are not able to stick to your plan on a certain day, it doesn’t mean you have failed or all your efforts are in vain. For sobriety, evaluate what was effective and what didn’t work out for you. Find out the reasons and if there are changes you can make to your plan.
Remember there is always a next chance if you are dedicated to learning from your mistakes. You must have heard the statement; a mistake is just an opportunity. It might be an opportunity in disguise.
- Medical attention
Depending on the substance you have been addicted to, some medications might be prescribed to relieve the pain of the withdrawal symptoms. Most medications mimic the effects of the drug to make you experience the same feeling you used to experience when taking the drug. Antidepressants and benzos are administered to reduce anxiety and irritability.
Benefits of Sobriety
Achieving sobriety is beneficial in many ways. Consuming drugs can take control of your life after some time. It can impact on your physical and mental health. The choice to leave drugs can save you from liver cirrhosis, kidney problems, heart complications, and other chronic health conditions.
An addicted person does not realize the harm they causing to their bodies. However, there are those who notice the harm but the cravings are very strong to ignore. What happens when you stop taking drugs? The truth is that substances are harmful and when removed from the system, your health will be enhanced in multiple ways. The following are some advantages you can experience when you stop using drugs;
- Hangovers will no longer be the talking
Not all people are aware that the painful hangovers are due to the withdrawal from drugs. Hangovers can be horrible and the worst you could ever wish for. Why did I take that much alcohol in the first place? This is a common question among addicts when they wake up with a huge headache.
Though not all people experience hangovers, some have very debilitating hangovers. You won’t realize the pain hangovers cause to your body until the day you wake up without them, with a clear mind and a rested body, while others are groaning with headaches. Hangovers are alerts that your body is dehydrated and filled with toxins.
- Sufficient and better sleep
When using drugs you experience an unpredictable pattern of sleeping. Some days you may spend the whole night taking drugs or drinking alcohol and then sleep during the day. In other times, you may strain to maintain the normal sleeping pattern since you must go to school or work the following day. This confuses the body, making it very difficult to sleep when required.
Some people get into drugs to assist them to get sleep. Drugs will help you fall asleep, the sleep is not good and you will become reliant on them to fall asleep. You wake up frequently at night and you are not able to sleep for a long period. In the morning you will feel sleepy and tired.
As you recover from drugs, you will get a point where you don’t need the drugs to get sleep and hence you will rest well. When the body gets rid of all the substance, it will get back to its natural sleeping pattern and the body will benefit a lot.
- Fewer toxins in your body
Quitting consumption of drugs means that the body will no longer have poisonous toxins. Drugs contain toxins that the body gets rid of on its own through detoxification. Kidneys, liver, and intestines are the organs that are involved in the flushing out of the poisonous substances from the body.
After a long period of elimination of the toxins, the organs wear out. This is the reason why people who have used drugs for long time experience complications with these organs. Quitting drugs reduces the number of toxins the body needs to eliminate, and hence the organs have an easy job.
- More energy
Some drugs like alcohol act as depressants and create a feeling of drowsiness. Cleansing the body will make you feel more energized. Supplemented with a good nutrition and exercises, sobriety will strengthen your body. Some drugs suppress the function of the brain and thus you might feel down emotionally and mentally. Therefore, once you abstain from substances your mental and emotional state will be restored to normal making you feel good.
- Improves your appearance
Some drugs dehydrate the body, so once you quit you will look more attractive. Your skin will probably be radiant and healthier since it is more hydrated. For instance, you have seen that person who used to drink a lot of alcohol and had many wrinkles, looked old and worn out, but when they stopped they looked very young and elegant.
Some drugs discolor the skin and cause inflammation. When you stop taking the drugs and take care of yourself, you will feel and look better.
- Better mental health
Physical and mental health is related. If you fail to take care of yourself mentally, the effects will manifest themselves physically. After taking drugs or alcohol one might feel anxious, confused, depressed or stressed. One isn’t stable mentally, and they feel like the brain is clouded.
Removing drugs from the equation enhances your looks as well as your mental state. Mental conditions like depression and stress can be managed well if you are having a clear mind and you are fit physically. There are so many benefits of abstaining from drugs that you can’t realize until you quit the substance. One might wonder how they felt when they were using the drug.
- Healthier diet
Individuals who use drugs lack a consistent eating pattern. Some drugs may make you lose your appetite while others cause you to overfeed. In most cases, addicted people lack good choices regarding food choices. They eat anything or everything on the table. Once you quit using drugs you will be very careful about what you feed on.
At rehab, you learn how to take care of yourself by eating the right foods which can boost your health and help heal the damage caused by drugs.
- Becoming more fit
Most addicted people prioritize spending time in the gym to taking drugs. However, when recovering from addiction many people sign in gyms or engage in indoor workouts to make busy. This becomes an advantage in disguise. Others, giving up on the substance makes them want to exercise. If you stop drinking alcohol or consuming the drug of your choice, you may have a strong desire to take a nature walk, jog, swim or do any physical activity.
Achieving sobriety depends on your attitude and patience. Device a plan that will help to stay committed to the journey of recovery. Write down the plan and discuss it with friends and relatives who can motivate and support you. Ensuring you are busy engaging in meaningful and healthy activities. Get a job, join a gym, or commit yourself to help other people who are recovering.
Avoid places and friends who tempt you. Once you experience a relapse, don’t give up. Learn from the mistakes and adjust the plan to deal with the triggers. All the above are some strategies that can help you achieve sobriety. Nevertheless, there are many others that you can discover as you recover. If you practice a technique or a plan, and it gives you positive results later, embrace it.
Obviously, apply the recommendations and skills learned, but be broad-minded and practice flexibility. Through this, you will be able to learn new tips from yourself or others. This is what is referred to as successful sobriety.
The decision to aim for sobriety can be the best decision in your life, though the path can be difficult. By being sober you will look sexier and you will be healthier. You will have more time since you will no longer dedicate your time to drug consumption. You are able to utilize that time by involving yourself in health activities like exercises. Most importantly, you will no longer have those horrible hangovers.