Ten Ways to Stay Clean and Sober
Everything in life has a season and there is no doubt that some seasons are easier than others. Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction and reaching sobriety is a wonderful time in an addict’s life. Staying clean and sober is a daily focus and choice to live a better life than we did before. But there are times when sobriety is threatened, like when life throws us a curve ball and we have to know how to catch it and run with it.
There are so many things that can happen in a person’s life to turn everything upside down. Perhaps you have an illness in the family or lost your loved one recently and you miss them terribly. Perhaps you have become sick yourself and are experiencing fear of the future and the symptoms of the illness. These are serious problems that can change life completely for an addict. Losing a job and getting into financial debt can put a tremendous strain on the family and how they will live. Becoming disabled because of an accident and having to relearn how to do simple things is another difficult time in life.
When a recovering addict goes through stressful events such as these, it may be very difficult to stay strong, focused and sober. There may be times when an addict just wants to give up or give in to having a drink or doing some drugs to ease the stress. Stressful times can endanger sobriety and an addict has to be prepared in advance on how they will handle them self when it seems that their life is falling apart.
- Having a support network is essential to success especially during difficult times. Talk with your counselor or therapist to discuss your problems and find solutions. Your peer support group will be there to offer you encouragement and advice. You family and friends who are available to help you through the good and the bad are another blessing. You should stay connected to your support network and be thankful for them.
- Form productive habits to help make life easier to navigate on a daily basis. Keep things in order so you know where to find things as you need them. This would include important documents and medical reports.
- Learn how to de-stress with physical activity, meditation, yoga, relaxing music, prayer and praise, etc. Whatever helps you relax will be essential to your well-being when you become tense from stressful situations.
- Keep your mind positive and in control. Do not focus on former negative thought patterns that will lead you into sadness, hopelessness, depression, fear, etc. Use your mind to focus on good things. Try reading a book, playing games, doing puzzles, playing with children, visiting with friends, cooking, watching a movie, etc.
- Avoid any triggers or temptations that would entice you to start using again. If thoughts of using do enter your mind, cast them out and begin an activity to get your mind off of the thought. Keep your self busy and focus your mind on healthy things.
- Don’t become complacent, but keep moving forward in life. Try new things and learn how to enjoy your self. Work on becoming a better person who is self-aware of his thoughts and behavior.
- Don’t blame others for your troubles. Everyone has problems in life and the key is to learn how to handle them proactively.
- Realize that you may be experiencing a set-back right now but it will not be this way forever. If you are going through a tough season in life, deal with it effectively and allow it to strengthen your character and courage.
- Take care of your health by eating nutritious food, exercising, hydrating and getting enough sleep.
- Practice your faith in God and learn to put your trust in Him. He will see you through all your battles in life.
- Learn to develop a good sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine and it relieves stress and makes life fun.