It starts with the desire to quit using. You’re tired of your life revolving around drugs and alcohol. You want to live a sober lifestyle, but you just don’t know how to. There are several issues you’ll need to tackle in order to get and stay sober; here are six of the most significant ones.
In order to get sober, the first issue you need to tackle is commitment. You must decide that you are completely dedicated and committed to getting sober. It’s normal to have doubts, but you must commit to at least putting 100 percent effort into trying to quit using and get sober.
It’s important to have some kind of a treatment plan in place – like a “roadmap to recovery.” If you aren’t sure how you’re going to get sober, it will be easy to get lost along the way. Your treatment plan doesn’t have to be professionally designed, but sometimes it helps more if it is. At the very least, decide what type of treatment you want to get and in what order. Will you go to detox? Rehab? Counseling? Twelve-step meetings? Outpatient therapy? Put it in writing.
Getting sober isn’t something you should do alone. A strong support system can make all the difference in your ability to get yourself sober. Make sure your friends and family know about your plan to get sober, and ask them for their support. Your support system can also include counselors, group members, and doctors.
It’s common to have cravings in recovery, and an important issue you need to address is how you will tackle your cravings. Decide on a plan for handling cravings before you have any. Counselors and others in recovery may be able to help you develop your plan, which might include calling someone, attending a meeting, or distracting yourself with a hobby.
People, Places, and Things
In recovery, you’ll hear a lot about “people, places, and things.” This refers to the need for you to watch out for people, places, and things that you associate with using – they’re like the Achilles heels of recovery. How long would you be able to hang out at a bar with your drinking buddies without having a drink? Probably not very long. In order to get sober, you need to change your environment and lifestyle. You have to stay away from the people, places, and things of your “old” life, and develop new habits that you can associate with being sober.
One of the hardest issues to address in order to get sober is your own self-confidence. Many addicts are afraid of sobriety because they lack confidence in themselves and think they’ll fail. To stay sober, you’ll need to find things to love about yourself. You also need a sense of purpose and the confidence that you can live a positive, healthy life that means something. Start by identifying your reasons for getting sober and envisioning the way you want your sobriety to be.