Beginning your recovery journey takes courage and strength. Continuing your recovery journey takes those things, plus determination, stamina, and a commitment to yourself. While up to 60 percent of those who enter some kind of treatment program may relapse at least once after treatment, you can beat the odds. Staying sober after treatment may be difficult, but it is not impossible. The more prepared you are, the more likely you will be to succeed.
Courage and Strength
Addiction is largely viewed as a problem that we opt into, that we have control over. Anyone who has ever suffered from addiction knows that the substance is the one in control. Not because we are weak or because we asked for this, but because we are in pain and we are low. It takes immense courage to stand up and fight back to regain control of our lives from what are typically very powerful substances. We must be brave to break the chains of addiction and rebuild our lives.
Overcoming addiction takes beyond Herculean strength. Not only physically, but mentally as well. Getting sober is hard enough, staying sober is another tremendous challenge. A challenge of endurance. Staying sober requires treatment not only of our substance abuse but of the underlying conditions that caused it as well. The strength required may seem impossible to muster, but when we add determination and stamina, we can break it down into smaller parts and can be successful.
Determination and Stamina
Something that people outside of recovery don’t always realize is that the decision to stay sober isn’t a one-time decision. It is a decision that we make every single day, every single hour, or even every minute if necessary. This requires extensive amounts of determination and stamina, even after sobriety has long become a habit.
A Commitment to Ourselves
Staying sober is a commitment we make to ourselves. Even if others inspire us to get treatment, or we see the pain we may have caused other people in our lives, sobriety has to be our own choice, our own personal commitment to ourselves. There is plenty of support available to us to help us in our recovery, but in the end, we have to do the work. We have to triumph over pain, and we have to re-commit to ourselves every day of our lives too choose our own personal well-being. This is us, it is up to us.
How to Stay Sober
While in treatment we talk a lot about ways to stay sober, in addition to learning what it means to recover from substance use. There are specific methods, such as Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention (MBRP), which are extremely helpful by giving us a toolbox full of ways to prevent substance relapse. There are also plenty of common sense ideas to remember, including:
• Avoid Triggers – our triggers are the people, places, and things that we know will generate thoughts of using substances. When we know they can put our sobriety in the balance, we can plan to avoid them altogether. It is not always easy, but it is that simple.
• Be Active – exercise helps more than just the way your clothes fit. Exercise helps our minds and bodies heal from substance use on both physiological and emotional levels. Regular exercise has also been shown to reduce the number of cravings we experience, which can help us remain sober on a very physical level.
• Fill Your Free Time – there is a saying about idle hands, and it tends to be true. If we find positive ways to fill our time with people and activities that keep us engaged, we will have less time to think about or act on our cravings. The side effect is that we can do more, and even do more good in the world, so everyone wins.
• Be Gentle with Yourself – This is not American Idol, this is your life. Being in recovery is not about judgment and guilt and shame, it is about stepping away from all of the judgment, guilt, and shame. Recognizing that we are human. Each day we do our best, and each day we get a little bit better. When we show unconditional love to ourselves, we make our path of sobriety a little easier to walk.
We can become sober in treatment, but staying sober is a lifelong process. It is a process that requires superhuman courage and strength. It is a battle of endurance that requires endless determination and stamina, as well as a commitment to ourselves. The odds may seem stacked against us, but if we prepare and commit to ourselves, this is a battle that we can win.
When you step into the recovery journey, sobriety is only one part of the road you will walk. You will have people to walk beside you, and people who can support you every day. At the end of the day, your sobriety and your recovery are a road that only you can walk. You can beat the odds when you commit to yourself, make plans to face your demons, and show courage to do this for you. Make your sobriety choice today. In choosing your today, you will find strength for tomorrow.
Find out how to be not only sober but to stay that way. Your recovery journey begins at AToN Center. Call (888) 535-1516 now.