Is Sobriety Right For You?
For someone who has given up drugs or alcohol, sobriety should become a way of life and not just an event.
Sobriety is the beginning of their journey back to wellness. There are many reasons why people begin to use drugs or alcohol. They may be struggling with physical or mental problems or just trying to fill a void in their life. These problems are acted out in behaviors that may not always be in their best interest. Substance abuse will eventually become another problem in the person’s life. So when a person becomes sober again they should also work out their other problems too; especially the ones that led to substance abuse in the first place. Confronting and settling issues and learning coping strategies and therapies for illness, stress and strong emotions will help the recovering addict build a new life for themself. Also, ridding oneself of negative thoughts and behavior patterns allows a person to be free from their crippling restraints and able to pursue a happier, healthier and safer life.
Sobriety is not just about releasing the past but also about creating a future that is productive and fulfilling. It is a future that does not try to hide or escape from reality, but rather faces life head-on with courage and inner strength. Long-term counseling and support group meetings will assist the recovering addict in maintaining his goals. Counseling gives him a chance to discuss any concerns he may have and any challenges he is facing. Together with his therapist or counselor, the recovering addict will be able to resolve many issues and problems that may arise. As the addict begins to take back more and more control of his life, he will also begin to feel empowered and capable of handling all kinds of situations. His self-esteem will increase and give him a renewed sense of self that is gratifying.
A recovering addict should always be aware of the need to remain sober for the rest of his life. He should learn to apply relapse prevention techniques like a pro to minimize any chance of slipping back into relapse. Support groups are a great venue to stay on track and socialize with other recovering addicts. These men and women share their stories and strategies for coping with cravings, flashbacks, triggers and emotions. They lift each other up and hold each other accountable for their behavior. Some members build strong bonds with other members and remain life-long friends. A recovering addict will always have a place to go and find someone to talk to at a support group meeting.
Sobriety also means becoming more aware of character flaws that need to be changed. Progressing as a human being allows the addict to form better relationships with other people. The addict will begin to let go of their selfish thoughts and obsessive behavior. Their thinking will become more balanced and they will experience peace and contentment. Even when problems arise, they will be able to address them calmly and thoughtfully. The addict may also begin to reach out to others in his community, forming new alliances and friendships. He may even get involved in some sort of community service to help other people. This type of service is very rewarding to both the giver and the receiver.
As a recovering addict progresses in sobriety, he will experience a new type of freedom and find joy in living. His financial situation will improve, and also his physical and mental health. He will develop a positive attitude toward life and gone will be the days filled with fear, doubt, self-pity, guilt, loneliness etc. The recovering addict will begin to reach some of his goals and strive to go further. He may also develop a spiritual path and discover his holistic body, mind and spirit connection. Life is good because sobriety has brought the addict full circle back to where he belongs.