Set Yourself Up for Success in Sobriety
Once you’ve completed treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, remaining sober means you’ll need to practice new, healthy habits you might not have undertaken previously. Here’s how to set yourself up for success now that you’re no longer abusing substances.
Keep on Track
It is not a cliché to look at your recovery as something that must be managed one day at a time. Instead, it’s a nudge to focus on the present and to face challenges as they arise, rather than to worry excessively about the past or the future.
Creating a daily recovery checklist helps remind you of your reasons for staying sober and keeps the necessary tools in focus. Your checklist might include reflecting on why your sobriety is important, practicing healing habits like kindness and caring for others, and recognizing when you need to ask for help. Taking time each day to keep your recovery on track gives you a stronger chance of long-term success.
It can be helpful to approach your sobriety in the same way you learn a new language or skill. It’s not possible to become fluent in Spanish or Japanese overnight, and if you’re learning woodworking, the first project you take on isn’t going to be an elaborate armoire. To be successful when you try new things, it’s best to start slowly and allow what you learn to build upon itself.
As with tangible tasks, pacing yourself in sobriety is often the best way to develop, and commit to, new habits and life skills. For instance, while you may know it’s essential to make new social connections that support your recovery lifestyle, going to a different meetup every night of the week can quickly burn you out on the process of engaging with fresh faces. Instead, choose one or two groups you are interested in, and attend enough gatherings to assess whether they’re the right fit. Tackling anything new in a slow and steady manner is a better recipe for success than going all-in.
Build a Support System
Although your success relies on building better personal habits and behaviors, that doesn’t mean going it alone. From your therapist to your sponsor to support groups to caring family and friends, having people to reach out to when you’re feeling challenged or in need of guidance is crucial. Identifying when you need help and not being ashamed to ask for it can get you over any hurdles you might face in your sobriety.
You may also find that becoming part of someone else’s support system helps bolster your own recovery. Being there for a loved one can give you a sense of purpose and strengthen a connection that benefits both of you as you mutually encourage and reassure each other.
Remaining sober after struggling with addiction requires using tools and practices you might not have incorporated into your life before addiction. Knowing what new behaviors to adopt once you gain sobriety goes a long way toward ensuring you’ll be successful in staying clean.