Are You Ready to Live a Sober Life?
For people who are struggling with drug and/or alcohol addiction, sobriety can seem like an impossible goal. But recovery is possible, no matter how hopeless your situation may appear. With the right treatment and support and addressing the root causes of your addiction change is achievable. Don’t ever give up on your journey to a sober life. Even if you’ve tried and failed before take a tip from the man in black.
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash
The road to recovery can be fraught with pitfalls and setbacks and staying on the road will take commitment and support. The journey will cause you to examine the root of your addiction, the triggers and the pitfalls. But, once you are willing and ready to change, you’re on your way. Now don’t look back.
Deciding to Make the Change
For most of us facing a big challenge, the toughest step toward recovery is always the first one. It’s normal to feel uncertain and question yourself about taking that first step. Are you ready to make a change? Do you have what it takes to quit? The most important thing at the beginning is just to begin. What comes next will be up to you. Committing to sobriety involves a lot of change and its okay to take it a step at a time.
Living a life of sobriety means you will need to find new ways of dealing with stress, how you think about yourself, what you do in your free time and sometimes, even the people you hang with. It’s also normal to feel conflicted about giving up your drug of choice, even when you know it’s causing problems in your life. Recovery requires time, motivation, and support, and its okay to consider your situation before you make the commitment to change.
Thinking About the Change
Once you’ve decided to make the change you can start by keeping track of your drug use, including when and how much you use. Making this a practice can give you a better sense of the role that your addiction is playing in your life. Make a list of the pros and cons of quitting or continuing your addiction, as well as the costs and benefits of continuing or quitting.
Think about the things that are most important to you, such as your partner, your kids, your pets, your career, or your health. Think about how your drug and/or alcohol use affects them. Talk to someone you trust that is close to you about their feelings on your drug use and how they see it affecting your relationships, work, etc…
Preparing Yourself for the Change
Now that you’ve decided to make the change and thought about the reasons that you want to make the change make your final preparations by reminding yourself of the reasons you want to change. Then remember your past attempts, if any, and consider what worked and what didn’t work. Set specific, measurable goals, such as a start date or limits on your drug use and, finally, tell your friends and family that you’re committing to recovery, and ask them for their support.
Explore Your Treatment Options
Now that you are committed to your recovery, it’s time to explore your treatment options. As you consider the options, keep in mind that no single treatment works for everyone. Everyone’s needs are different. Drug addiction treatment should be customized to your unique situation so it’s important that you find a program or facility that feels right for you.
Drug and alcohol addiction treatment should address more than just your drug abuse; because addiction affects everything and everyone in your life. That includes your relationships, your career, your health, and your psychological well-being. Successful treatment depends on you being able to develop a new way of healthy living as well as addressing the root reasons of why you turned to drugs or alcohol in the first place. In many cases, drug and alcohol dependency develop from an inability to manage stress. This means you’ll need to find healthier ways to handle stressful situations and your drug rehab should address these habits…
Commitment and follow-through are key. Drug addiction treatment is not a quick and easy process. In general, the longer and more intense the drug use, the longer and more intense the treatment you’ll need. And in all cases, long-term follow-up care is crucial to recovery.
There are many places to turn for help. Not everybody requires medically supervised detox or an extended stint in rehab. The care you need depends on a variety of factors, including your age, drug-use history, medical or psychiatric conditions. In addition to doctors and psychologists, many clergy members, social workers, and counselors offer addiction treatment services.
As you seek help for your drug and alcohol addiction, it’s also important to get treatment for other medical or psychological issues you’re experiencing. The highest rate for recovery is when you find a source that will provide an integrated treatment. This means getting combined mental health and addiction treatment from the same treatment provider or team.
Finally, Reach Out for Support
Whatever treatment approach you choose, don’t try to go it alone. Positive influences and a solid support system is essential for a successful recovery. The more people you can turn to for encouragement, guidance, and a listening ear, the better your chances for recovery.
Look for support from close friends and family. Having the emotional support of your friends and family members will be one of your most valuable assets in your recovery. If you’re reluctant to turn to your loved ones for whatever reason then search out a relationship counseling or family therapist. Most facilities offer counseling services.
To truly succeed you will need to build a sober social network. If your previous social life revolved around drugs and alcohol, you may need to make some new connections. It’s important to have sober friends who will support your recovery. Other ways of making new connections can be as simple as taking a class, joining a church or a civic group, volunteering, or attending other events in your community.
Many communities and treatment facilities offer a sober living home. Sober living homes provide a safe, supportive place to live while you’re recovering from drug addiction. These are an excellent option especially if you don’t have a stable home or a drug-free living environment.
Find AA meetings or other support groups and make them a priority. Joining a recovery support group and attending meetings regularly is essential to a successful road to recovery. Spending time with people who understand what you’re going through can be very healing and supportive. You can also benefit from the shared experiences of the group members and learn what others have done to stay sober.