Drinking is an addiction that’s not always obvious when it first starts. Many people begin as social drinkers. The drinking then becomes more frequent until the individual is always tipsy or drunk. Severe alcoholics will drink while working, driving or doing other tasks outside the home. However, sobriety is possible. Read on to learn about the road to sobriety and important tips to help you stay clean and sober for good.
The Road to Sobriety
The road to sobriety isn’t easy for anyone. Alcohol is hard to escape since it’s legal and accessible. The path to sobriety usually starts by recognizing that the drinking is more than a pastime. You start to understand drinking as a problem that’s hurting your life, your loved ones and potentially your health. This often leads to an inpatient or outpatient treatment program where you can safely detox and receive therapy. It can take weeks or months of working with specialists to break the addiction and develop ways to maintain sobriety; however, it’s still all worth the effort.
Completing treatment for alcoholism isn’t the end of the process – it’s just the start of a lifetime of sobriety. You’ll have to face your addiction every day in some form. You’ll also have to be strong to avoid returning to drinking. With the right help and support, you can stay sober for good after you leave rehab.
You Worked Hard to Achieve Sobriety – Use These Five Tips to Maintain It
Getting to a place where you’re sober is a hard process. The last thing you want to do is throw everything you achieved away. This means you have to be in control of your life and remain vigilant about your addiction to alcohol. Many people do stay clean and sober for a lifetime after successfully completing a rehab program. Use these five tips to stay sober for good.
1. Focus on the Here and Now
The first tip is to always focus on the here and now when it comes to drinking and your addiction. Living with the thought that you’ll never drink again can be overwhelming. This sometimes creates a sensation of stress and despair, especially if you drank consistently for years before becoming sober. A better option is to live in the moment. If a craving comes on, just think about not drinking for the next few minutes. Don’t think about fighting the urge tomorrow or next week – just don’t drink for the minute you have the urge. If you do this every time, the craving will eventually subside and you’ll still be sober. Staying focused on the here and now is an incredibly effective tool for maintaining sobriety.
2. Stay Away From Triggers and Temptations
The next tip is to stay away from triggers and temptations. As you progress through your life as a sober person, you’ll start to build confidence in your ability to not drink. The reality is you’re always just one drink away from relapsing. Don’t become so overly confident in yourself that you start to frequent places where drinking and alcohol are present. You want to structure your life and practice behaviors to keep you away from alcohol, alcoholics and drinking. This means avoiding people and places related to alcohol use and abuse. It also means having the strength to walk away or walk out whenever you’re in a situation where people are drinking or doing drugs.
3. Do Not Take on Too Many Responsibilities
One of the most common triggers for alcoholics is stress – this can be stress from a job, a relationship or from everyday life. The mistake you don’t want to make is to start taking on too many responsibilities because of your newfound strength and sobriety. You could quickly become overwhelmed by the demands of those new responsibilities. The result might be enough stress that you turn back to drinking to cope with the situation. Assess every new responsibility carefully to ensure you have the time and energy to take it on without creating too much stress.
4. Surround Yourself With Positive and Supportive People
Alcoholism causes isolation after a point. Isolation, however, can also drive you back to alcohol addiction. The key is to surround yourself with positive and supportive people who’ll contribute constructively to your life. Have people around you who are stable and understand your personal issues with drinking. These individuals can make a significant difference in your life. They can provide advice and support when you’re going through hard times. They can also provide a safe place if you feel you cannot be alone. Additionally, these people can give you insight into your own actions and can help you live a better life. Surrounding yourself with positive influences is a very effective way to stay sober for good.
5. Continue Going to Aftercare or Support Groups
It’s important to remain in contact with addiction specialists and other people in your situation on a regular basis. An important tip is to continue going to aftercare or support groups even after you’ve been sober for some time. Going to these types of meetings or therapy sessions will help reinforce what you’ve already learned. They’re important places where you can discuss problems and learn new coping techniques. You also have the opportunity to help others with your experience. Continue going even when you feel like these meetings are unnecessary for your sobriety. Aftercare and support groups are a critical part of staying sober for good.
Becoming sober and breaking free of alcohol addiction is one of the most empowering things anyone can do. It’s the first step towards reclaiming a normal life. This is possible only with the help of addiction specialists and professional treatment. Start today by calling the helpline at 800-447-9081 to talk about treatment options for alcohol addiction.