When you first enter the wide, wonderful and oftentimes unpredictable world of recovery, there is a definite sense of struggle. Leaving behind the old and destructive ways of addiction and adapting newer and healthier ways of thinking, feeling and acting takes a lot of active practice as well as continual trial and error.
When you take your first baby steps in sobriety, you can feel like you have two left feet and it can feel like you are stumbling around more than actually moving forwards. After awhile the recovery mindset starts to become second nature, and as time progresses we may notice during those random quiet times in our daily routines there are things that you do or say in your recovery that you didn’t do when you were active in our substance abuse.
Listed below are 15 signs that you are a sober person.
You Handle Day-to-Day Situations Differently
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, life isn’t perfect. In your never-ending recovery journey, you will encounter obstacles and challenges in your everyday life that test the limits of your patience. One of the signs that you a sober person is that you are able to slow down and take what is given to you at face value. As a result, you take what you need and leave the rest.
You Learn to Learn
Let’s also face it… life is short–too short. While recovery is something you take seriously, taking yourself seriously 24-7 can actually undermine your recovery in the long run. You will make mistakes and fall short at times. As a sober person, you can take the time to look back at what you accomplished thus far in recovery and the obstacles you’ve overcome, and realize that with each obstacle that is overcome you grow stronger and more confident that you can overcome the next obstacle that crosses your path.
Focusing on the Positive
Those who assume the role of Negative Nancy are classic examples of folks who display a victim mentality where they assume no responsibility for their standing in life. Guess what? YOU DO! Another one of the signs that you are a sober person is that you get the fact that life happens and while sucky things occur, there are also a lot of upsides of living a sober life.
You Got People
One of the most important signs that you are a sober person is that you have a network of friends, family and peers in recovery you have your back and will extend a hand, shoulder to lean on or an ear to bend when the going gets rough in your recovery. As a sober person sometimes you have to step back and realize the wonderful resources you have at your disposal. Many people, many stories, much wisdom and you drink tons of coffee (more on that later).
You Can Check Yourself
As a sober person the virtue of patience can be one of the most challenging things to cultivate. Sobriety at times can render you like a walking nerve—everything and anything can irritate or aggravate you. However, you have learned an important lesson in your recovery journey and that lesson is simple: let go. You know that you have embrace your life as a person in recovery when you can fully understand the present moment and ultimately realize that how you handle the situation right now will determine how your future can play out.
In sobriety, it seems as though coffee is currency. The smell permeates the meeting room and is the beverage of choice in social gathering where sober folks are present. Even if you don’t fancy yourself a coffee drinker you may find yourself drinking quite a bit. (writer’s note…I like mine strong with four sugar cubes.)
You Experience Happiness
Yeah, life can be difficult at times and provide a real kick in the pants but comparing it to where you came from all things are relative. Sober folks are generally a happy lot because they are living and breathing and living life on life’s terms day by day. Knowing that you hold the key to make things happen in your life is another sign that you are a sober person. Now…get things done!
You Have Principles
Sober people have cultivated some form of spiritual undercurrent that guides their lives. It’s doesn’t have to be God proper, but those who are sober realize there is a power greater than themselves. Because of that, those who are sober realize they are just a spoke in the wheel. You can try, but your arms are too short to box with God (I have tried, I know…)
You Wear Your Recovery Proudly
Whether it is through ink or the clothes you wear, sober folks like to express their appreciation for their recovery. Some folks may look at it as being kind of preachy and pushy, but the bottom line is that you are loud and proud in your recovery. Besides, wearing a sandwich board would be hot and uncomfortable.
As a recovering person, you are more than likely finding some time during the daily grind to find a quiet spot, sit comfortably, closing your eyes and just focusing on your breath. Mindful meditation is a relapse prevention staple, and the techniques are easy to master. Meditation does fancy robes or require insane flexibility. To meditate simply means finding a quiet spot and be one with your thoughts and reflect on the day.
You Make Plans
You know that you are a sober person when you can easily fill your daily schedule with recovery-based activities that are fun and help strengthen your recovery game. Whether it is meetings, hobbies or other activities, you don’t have time to dwell on the pity pot and you surely don’t have the energy to dwell on stinkin’ thinkin’… for it is not in the planner for today–or any other day!
You Have Bank
In your active addiction, money was a tool that was used to feed an ego that ran amok–and as long as you felt good things such as paying bills and saving for the future could get a back seat or get thrown out the window entirely. A sign that you are a sober person is that you look at the money in your wallet and you find ways to make it work for you. The amount of cabbage that actually is in your wallet may be small, but it is yours and not going towards booze or dope so you have that going for you.
You Write It Down
When you are active in your recovery, you find creative and healthy outlet to channel your emotions–and journaling is one of those outlets. For those in recovery, the practice of journaling started in drug treatment, and it was a great tool to help you keep tabs on your day and was a great barometer in knowing what you were feeling at any given moment. If you continue to put pen to paper to help sort yourself out, it is yet another one of the signs that you are a sober person.
You Pay It Forward
One of the most important signs that you are a sober person is that you make paying it forward a huge part of your recovery program. Whether it is being a sponsor, being an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on, or doing volunteer work, sobriety has shown you that sharing with others makes you feel good AND furthers your recovery.
Ultimately, those who are sober embrace their true self, warts and all. You know that things aren’t always pretty, but what you are is pretty awesome and that comes out for all to see.