Recognizing you’re addicted to alcohol is tough. For many people, detoxing is just part of a long recovery journey. Detoxing from alcohol can be very challenging but staying sober after you have detoxed is an ongoing test. Whether you’ve been through detoxification or just starting your recovery, you may wonder how to stay sober for good.
Continuous sobriety requires a constant effort, but with the proper support and techniques, you’ll find it much more manageable. Approximately half of the people in recovery from alcohol use will relapse. Therefore, it’s crucial you know how to stay sober to give yourself the best chances.
Preventing relapse should be a focal point for you and any professionals working with you on your alcohol use disorder. This post will tell you all you need to know on how to stay sober. It’ll highlight how other people with addictions like yours have achieved long-term sobriety. If you are concerned about your alcohol consumption and think you need help, contact Olympus today at (888) 998-3319.
Reframing Your Thoughts
When you first enter recovery for alcoholism, the idea of never drinking alcohol again can feel overwhelming. After all, alcohol has been an essential part of your life up to this point. This is where reframing your thoughts can help. If you want to know how to stay sober, then one of the first things you can do is take recovery one day at a time. Instead of thinking about never drinking alcohol again in your life, think about not drinking it for today. This is an effective way to help manage your sobriety and make it feel more achievable. Take it a day at a time and celebrate when you hit milestones. Share your success with your friends and family and be proud of your achievements.
Understanding the Complexities of Addiction
You cannot learn how to stay sober without understanding the complexities of alcoholism. It can be easy to think that detoxing from alcohol is enough to keep you sober for good. However, this isn’t the case. Detoxification is simply one small part of a complex process.
It’s important not to neglect the psychological side of addiction and alcoholism when learning how to stay sober. Someone with an alcohol addiction will experience physical cravings and symptoms because their body becomes dependent on alcohol. However, although this can be very intense when detoxing, it is a tiny part of the recovery process in the long term.
Recovering from the psychological grip of alcoholism can be an ongoing process. If you want to stay sober, addressing your addiction’s psychological side is paramount. A person with an alcohol use disorder will have repeated certain behaviors over and over throughout their addiction. These behaviors become habits that are ingrained in the individual and can be very difficult to break. Often, habits that derive from repetitive behaviors fuel an addiction—breaking these patterns and replacing these habits is how to stay sober for many people.
The psychological side of addiction is usually addressed through therapy. Several types of therapy can be helpful to those with an alcohol use disorder. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be useful as it focuses on reframing thought processes and altering behaviors. Many rehab centers now use CBT as part of addiction recovery programs. CBT has proven to be effective in treating those with addictions when combined with other treatment methods.
Much of how to stay sober is to do with access to the right treatment and support. Ready to start recovery? Contact us for help today.
The Importance of Community
If you’re looking for how to stay sober, community is key. Creating a solid network of supportive people around you is an excellent way to stay on track and beat alcoholism. Being part of a community with others in recovery gives you support and accountability. Spending time with others on the same journey as you can be beneficial to your recovery. Group therapy is a good way to do this, or through other means, such as participating in sober living programs.
The best part of a community is that everyone comes together to support each other. Being part of a community with other addicts and addiction professionals may reduce your chances of relapse. This type of community is usually found at rehab centers. Meeting alone with an addiction professional or attending group meetings with others in the community can be constructive. Also, live-in rehabilitation programs will allow you to work through your journey with others like you.
Early in your journey, you’ll likely rely on professional help. However, as time goes on, intervention from professionals will probably be less frequent. In this stage, it is essential to build connections with other people with long stretches of sobriety under their belt. Peer-run groups in the community are a valuable tool to help you stay on track after your rehabilitation program. Peer-run groups are widely available, and they’re also free of charge.
Peer groups often include AA and NA, but other community support groups are also available. It is important that you find a support group that works for you.
How to Stay Sober – Avoiding Triggers
Throughout your addiction, you likely developed habits around certain triggers. Identifying these triggers is essential if you want to stay sober. Triggers can be different for everyone. Some people may have been triggered to drink due to abuse or a mental health condition. Others may have noticed that being around certain individuals triggers them to drink. Through professional therapy, identifying your personal triggers will usually be part of your recovery process.
Although you’ll likely work on your personal triggers when attending a treatment program, there can be some situations that may take you by surprise. You should be prepared to be honest with yourself in social situations that involve drinking. You may not be ready to be around alcohol again, and simply spending time in the company of others drinking may be enough of a trigger.
Your friends and family may support your recovery, but they may not truly understand your addiction. If you need to decline invites to events to stay sober, you shouldn’t be ashamed to do this. Some family members or friends can pressure you to have just one drink without understanding the consequences. Until you feel that you can be in these situations comfortably, it’s best to avoid them.
If you do choose to attend an event or put yourself in a situation with potential triggers, it can help to prepare an excuse to leave. If you begin to feel uncomfortable, use your prepared excuse and leave before you are triggered to drink. You may say something like, “I need to take my dog for a walk” or “I need to help a friend because their car broke down.”
Finding New Hobbies
Feeling a sense of emptiness after entering recovery is understandable. You’ve likely spent years of your life consumed by alcohol, so you’ll probably find yourself with some free time on your hands. Keeping yourself busy and away from boredom is essential. Immersing yourself in a new hobby is a good way to fill the gap that your addiction left.
Once you feel ready, throw yourself into a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to do. You might want to learn a musical instrument, join a sports club, or learn to cook. You may want to paint, write, or learn another language. The good news is, you now have much more opportunity to do so. A hobby can keep your mind off your addiction and help you to flourish. If you begin to crave alcohol, you can turn to your hobby to distract yourself.
Wherever you are in your recovery journey, help is always available. Deciding to enter sobriety is a huge step, and accessing support and guidance is crucial. Olympus offers a range of treatment options to people with alcohol addiction. It’s never too late to seek help. Contact us today for more information.