This last time I got sober, I had exhausted all of my resources. I had taken advantage of every opportunity for help that my family had given to me. I relapsed multiple times and manipulated every situation to get my next high. I had a couple of cents in my bank account and my credit cards were maxed out. I had no job, no education, and no health insurance. I had no credibility and the only credible thing behind my name was a couple of possession charges.
It’s a common misconception that you need to go away to treatment for “X” amount of days and spend thousands of dollars on a facility to get and stay sober. Sure, some people need it, but many don’t. It’s easy to use the excuse of “I’m so broke and can’t afford treatment” to keep on using. But let’s call it what it is – an excuse. I understand the feeling and the pain that everything to life begins and ends with a dollar sign – especially when you have nothing. After all, most of what popular culture teaches us today is that money equals happiness. I’m here to tell you that those myth’s are not true. People don’t get sober because they pay for it. They get sober because they want it. There are plenty of people who have gotten sober with the help of resources surrounding them. It’s hard work, but I’ve seen it, and I’ve done it.
Getting clean doesn’t mean your financial problems will come to a halt. Life happens. You must find another way to fill this void inside you that you’ve been filling by using drugs and alcohol. We’ve put together a list of 10 cost-effective ways to start your sobriety journey; and you can start right now!
Get Your Priorities Straight
Think about the time you’ve spent planning, thinking, and conniving your way to get your next “fix.” Now, think about all the money that you’ve spent doing it. It is so easy for us to spend time and money on the tumultuous things that are so self-destructive in our lives. We are so quick to swear off focusing our efforts on tools that will benefit us in the long run, but somehow we manage to find the cash to feed our addictions. Do the math. How much money does your habit cost you on a daily basis? Add that number up each week. Splurge on something recovery related. After all, we know we were pinching pennies while trying to get our next high, so why not use that money towards something that will save our lives.
Find Your “People”
It’s almost impossible to get and stay sober by yourself. Recovery is a tumultuous process, and when we are feeling discouraged it’s nice to know that someone has felt the same exact way. Finding people in your community that are walking the same path as you is essential to your recovery. It can be scary at first, but we all have to start somewhere. Find people whether they are in the same stage of recovery as you, or have more experience living a substance-free life. The benefits of learning from others can be ten-fold and gives us encouragement that we, too can live this new way of life.
Find Something Outside Yourself
Some people like to call it a “Higher Power,” and some like to call it, “God.” But to get sober and stay sober, we must believe in a bigger purpose for ourselves. As addicts we are control freaks, and as evidence shows, when we try to control the outcome, we have little success. The great thing is, it doesn’t matter what type of “purpose” or “Higher Power” you believe in, we just need to believe in something other than ourselves – after all, that hasn’t worked out too well in the past.
We’re not just talking about 12-step meetings, although Alcoholics Anonymous, (A.A.) is the leading approach to addiction recovery in the United States. Many have “worked the steps” and have found sobriety from taking that approach. However, while AA and other 12-step meetings do help people and can be important, it is not the only way to find sobriety. There are some who don’t want to label themselves as an “alcoholic” or an “addict,” and some don’t want to rely on the “disease” concept. There are plenty of options available and some may be happening in your community. Check them out here.
Be Nice To Your Body
God only knows the pain and turmoil we put our bodies through. Now it’s time to repair the damage that we’ve done just by taking a few simple steps. Practice good sleep hygiene. Go outside and take a walk. Drink lots of water and incorporate a few more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Recovery is a huge undertaking, so start small and build from there.
Do Something Fun… Without The Substances
We didn’t become sober to be miserable! Learn how to have fun in recovery without the substances. When I got sober I thought that I could only have fun while drinking, and I thought for sure I was going to be the most boring person in the world. But, in fact, the fun was just beginning. I have had the deepest and most genuine belly laughs I have ever had in sobriety. Life is an experience. When we are in our addictions, we are depriving ourselves of all that life has to offer.
Many people don’t seek out going to therapy because of cost. Consumers look at rate’s of psychologists and immediately turn their heads when they see the price. However, you might be surprised to see how many resources there are for those who seek it. Schools and Universities are huge resources for this. Most of them offer sliding scales where students are training to become clinical psychologists. Community mental health clinics can also offer low cost therapy. If you have insurance, you can also call them directly to see if they cover any in-network therapy.
Crack Open The Books!
Self-help books was one of the most important things to my recovery. Unlike Television, reading causes the brain to slow down and concentrate; this can be similar to a meditative state. Reading took my sobriety to the next level and is by far still one of my most favorite hobbies today. Books about addiction and recovery are a dime a dozen, so it wouldn’t hurt to take a trip over to your local library or bookstore. Choosing a book can be as difficult as choosing a new show to watch on Netflix, so here’s a list of 10 of our favorite addiction and recovery books.
What a beautiful thing we have in this day and age! The world wide web is an endless realm of resources and here at SoberNation, we are just one of them! I don’t believe that recovery should be cost-prohibitive and that’s why we give you as many resources as possible. In today’s world, there are more blogs, studies, online courses, and the blogosphere is proving more and more to be a resource for people to share their experience and for others to receive hope, all from home.
Recovery is a process. Rewards keep us motivated while achieving goals. You’ll need to find ways to get motivated and stay motivated in the long-term! Have 30 days clean? Treat yourself to some ice cream! Get 60 days? Go get a massage. Take a minute to splurge on yourself every now and then while feeling great!