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It’s not easy to stay sober during difficult times, but it is possible! These last few weeks have been a little bit of a struggle, but it’s been getting much easier as time goes on.
Now, keep in mind that everyone is different and what works for me may not work for you, but I’d like to think that it’s worth sharing on the off-chance that it helps somebody with their own sobriety!
Want Vs. Need
One of the first things that helped me enter my sobriety is the realization that I needed to be sober, it wasn’t just a want for me. When you can admit to yourself that there is a reason for your sobriety, it will help encourage you to fight that battle. If you don’t need to be sober, then you should have a goal set in mind for the length of your sobriety and make sure you have a reason written down somewhere as a daily reminder. Maybe you’re going to stop drinking for a year to live healthier or even just stop drinking for 6 months to save a little money. It doesn’t matter what your “why” is, just make sure you have one!
Now you don’t have to go out and announce to all of your Facebook friends that you are newly sober because you want to save some money, but what you can do is tell a couple close friends, your spouse, or maybe a family member. By doing this, it will help hold you accountable. Just tell them that you are sober and your goal is to be sober for X amount of time, you can tell them your “why” but you don’t have to, that can stay personal. Be sure to let them know that you might need a little encouragement at times when you’re having a rough day or just feel like giving up on your goal.
Go To A Meeting
This step is completely optional, but I know how much it helped me in the very beginning of my sobriety to go to AA meetings. AA meetings, NA meetings or even just support groups for sobriety are very helpful when you’re in early sobriety because you have the option to go as often or as little as you would like. You will meet a ton of people who have similar goals as you. They might be doing this for the rest of their life, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have wisdom to offer you for your temporary (or permanent) sobriety. AA and NA are both fellowships of addicts who are in recovery and let me tell you, if you’ve never been to a “Speaker Meeting” then I highly suggest that you go to one. There you will hear somebody’s story about who they were before, during and after their active addiction. Now one thing to remember is that if you were once an addict, you will always be an addict in AA and NA’s eyes. It’s not something that just “goes away.”
This really helped me a lot in these last almost 3 months and when I was having a difficult day, I would pull up my Sobriety Counter app and look at how far I had come. They have so many different apps that you can use to track your sobriety or you can do it the old-fashioned way and put it on your calendar! But there’s just something about celebrating the little victories that helps you through difficult times. Whether you made it through your first day, first month or even first year; celebrate it. Now I’m not saying to go out and throw a party (though you can if you really want to.) What I am saying is to keep track of how long you’ve been sober and be proud of yourself! If you told your friends about your new-found sobriety, tell them how far along you are, if you kept it to yourself then treat yourself to a bowl of ice cream or something. Just remember, the little victories count tremendously!
Write Or Create
Do something creative so that you have an outlet for bad days. If you like to write, write down how you’re feeling and how you plan to overcome this obstacle. Remember that it’s just a bad day and that you can turn it around if you want to. Don’t like writing? That’s okay, you can do some crafts, read a book or even listen to some music to get you through the day. Some days will be more difficult than others, but remember that tomorrow is a new day.
Take It “One Day At A Time”
In AA and NA, you learn to take each day as it comes. That was extremely helpful for me. When I’m having a bad day, I just remember that tomorrow is a fresh start and guess what! You can even start fresh in the middle of a day! How great is that? Just take life slowly, take it day by day, hour by hour or minute by minute if you have to. Tell yourself that you can and will make it through this day, hour or minute. Tell yourself that you are strong enough, because I know that you are. Everybody has enough strength in them to accomplish their goals. Don’t doubt yourself!
Stay Positive, Stay Hopeful and Stay Strong
Keep a positive mentality, even on the difficult days. Look on the bright side and try to find the good in everything. Keep your hope, don’t give up on yourself and try not to doubt yourself either. You’ve got this! Most importantly though, stay strong. Don’t give into temptation, tell someone when you’re feeling weak or like you can’t continue with your sobriety. Everyday isn’t going to be a piece of cake. You’re going to have to learn how roll with the punches.
Meditate or Pray
If you’re religious, take some time every morning to ask God for another sober day and then thank Him every night for another day of sobriety. Of course, you can always pray throughout the day for strength, guidance and patience. I highly encourage it actually, I couldn’t tell you how many times praying has taken away my urge to drink.
If you aren’t religious, take some time to meditate each day. Meditation will help clear your mind and remove the thoughts of drinking. You can also do this multiple times throughout the day.
These are just a few ways that I have been able to maintain my sobriety through difficult times. There are so many other steps you can take to preserve your sobriety and I highly encourage you to take a few minutes to research them so you can find what works for you.
Tell me what you do to stay sober in the comments!
Best of luck!