Through today’s blog, discover what sober life means to you and what things in life hold significant meaning. Doing so can give you the purpose and renewed passion you need to succeed and maintain long-term healing from substance use disorders.
For many people, life can be challenging enough as it is. However, individuals who live with an addiction to drug and alcohol use who proceed to enter treatment may feel that the world they return to after treatment is formulaic and fragile, and they may end up feeling lost. While remaining sober may be their goal, where is the meaning in their sober lifestyle?
Some people may feel like they can’t navigate their daily activities or responsibilities without the familiar effects of their choice substances. Although you may always feel the pull of these temptations, meditating on your reasons for choosing a sober lifestyle will help ground you in your commitment and latch onto something bigger than yourself that you can hold onto.
What are the steps to live a sober lifestyle?
- Discover the things in life that matter to you
- Define sobriety in terms that are meaningful to you
- Identify the reasons you want to be sober
- Understand why having purpose can matter so much in sobriety
Discover the Things in Life That Matter to You
When committing to any critical lifestyle and behavior change, such as ceasing substance use or participating in addiction treatment, it’s essential to understand why such drastic measures are needed and what impact they will have on your life. Knowing who you’ll be before and after the change is a big enough unknown that can hold you back from fully committing to the process.
Taking the time to identify people and things that matter to you can help you determine why you want to get and remain sober. For example, suppose you’re passionate about your family, friends, faith group or the work you do in school or on the job. Or perhaps, you want to give back or contribute any talents, gifts and abilities you have to your community. In such cases, you may want to get treatment and maintain sobriety because your substances of choice interfere with these relationships and responsibilities.
Define Sobriety in Terms That Are Meaningful to You
In general, the term “sobriety” refers to the condition of not being intoxicated. While a general idea of what sobriety is may exist, it can mean different things to different people. For some people, being sober may mean not experiencing any measurable effects of drugs or alcohol. To others, it could mean more than just avoiding using recreational or prescription drugs or drinking alcohol, but achieving good mental health.
Define sobriety in a way that makes the approach you take to healing from substance abuse as realistic and practical as possible. Ultimately, determining what sobriety means to you can shape how you respond to the idea of living a sober life and the amount of work and dedication you put into achieving and maintaining recovery and healing.
Identify the Reasons You Want to Be Sober
Just as your definition of sobriety and idea of a sober life can differ from other people’s, your reasons for wanting to live substance-free may vary, too. Any person dealing with drug or alcohol dependency or addiction should develop a personal list of reasons why staying sober is a worthy goal. This list can help you put in perspective what you find so valuable that it’s worth the dedication, hard work and effort you put into ceasing alcohol consumption and walking away from drug use.
You may want to achieve sobriety long-term because:
- You think living substance-free can help you look good and feel good physically and mentally
- Sobriety can help you eat, sleep, and think better
- You’ll feel better about yourself and enjoy enhanced self-esteem
- Cravings and body aches caused by a need for substances are too painful to deal with again
- Being substance-free can restore relationships with your loved ones once ruined by drug or alcohol use
Without taking the time to consider why you want to pursue sobriety, you may decide not to begin at all. However, identifying such reasons to be sober and anticipating an improved life quality and enhanced interpersonal relationships can help you stay motivated to work hard during treatment and recovery.
Understand Why Having Purpose Can Matter So Much in Sobriety
Substance abuse and addiction can result from several factors and have many causes. Common reasons people start using drugs or alcohol include:
- Peer pressure
- A desire to feel good or “get high.”
- A want to stop feeling bad or lose one’s inhibitions
- Attempts to perform better at work or school
In many cases, a person may use drugs or alcohol because they feel aimless or have misplaced aims. Frequent and prolonged substance abuse can slowly dismantle an individual’s life and the hopes they have for their future. The purpose they once had in life seemingly gets lost and contributes to deep anxiety or depression.
Working toward sobriety through participating in detox and addiction treatment programs gives individuals the opportunity to pick up a new purpose for their lives and continue their efforts and stay sober. Finding the purpose in your life and the meaning of a sober life enables you to establish a clear context for your day-to-day. Individuals can persevere through hardship and resiliently endure challenges if they have a sense of purpose because purpose reminds them why fighting for sobriety is worth it. Individuals in recovery can learn to ignore temptations and stay focused on living an improved, more meaningful life by pushing forward each day.
Purpose has a way of allowing individuals to be accountable to themselves and others and responsible for their thoughts and behaviors. It can encourage people to work hard for and pursue success as they define it.
Finding Value in Sobriety Can Help You Stay in Tune With Your Recovery Efforts
Participating in a treatment program at a treatment and counseling center like Washburn House equips you with information and healthy coping mechanisms that allow you to handle daily stressors or more intense anxiety or depression without turning to addictive substances. When you feel sobriety means having a chance to enjoy an improved, healthier and more fulfilling life, you’re more likely to do everything you can to keep up with the practices you learned in treatment.
You may reflect and ask yourself if you’re staying in tune with the replenished version of yourself that no longer needs or craves substances to make it through the day or if you’ve been overindulging with replacements like food, sex or television. Additionally, you may ask yourself if you’ve been staying in touch with your loved ones, mental health professionals, or peers from group sessions, who can support you and keep you accountable, or if you’ve become disengaged in your progress.
Finding meaning and value in sobriety and staying in tune with yourself and your progress can help you be present in your emotions and thoroughly process and release the pain you may feel. Healing with such awareness can help empower your recovery. Likewise, feeling supported and loved can help you be more likely to stay committed and avoid behaviors that could compromise relationships that mean a lot to you. Staying immersed in connections you forged during treatment can keep you motivated, present, and invested in a successful, substance-free future.
Allow Your Goals for Sober Living to Direct Conversations About Your Recovery
If you think a substance-free life will mean feeling better, thinking clearer, having higher self-esteem and communicating more effectively, be honest and deliberate in practicing behaviors and thinking in ways that align with these outcomes. Just as addiction treatment requires you to confront the reality of your situation, working toward sobriety after completing professionally guided treatment requires you to take a good look at the ways you express yourself and the boundaries you set to protect your recovery.
Ask yourself if you stay silent even when you don’t want to, or you speak up when you’re comfortable doing so. Think about if the things you say represent what you truly feel and want. Likewise, observe if you use hard words with others to prevent vulnerability or protect yourself. Ultimately, honest communication can keep you in tune with yourself, your feelings, and your recovery progress. If your words match your actions and feelings, you can stay in alignment with your recovery and sobriety goals.
Achieve the Sober Life at Washburn House
Being comfortable with communicating can empower you to reach out and seek guidance and assistance from your peers, support system, and addiction treatment specialists, and mental health professionals.
The experts at Washburn House understand that your ideas of what’s essential in life and what sober living means to you can differ from others’ ideas. The therapists, clinicians, and specialists at this center know that a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment is ineffective and can’t reach clients as individuals. Professionals at this center implement research-based and holistic, individualized treatment programs, including:
- Medically monitored detox
- Inpatient rehab
- Intensive outpatient rehab
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Yoga therapy
Calling Washburn House at 844.929.2737 is the first step to receiving the thorough, judgment-free treatment and care you need to overcome substance abuse and live the healthier, more fulfilling, meaningful life you strive for and deserve.