The Challenges You May Face in Sobriety
So now that you’re contemplating giving up substances on your drug or alcohol recovery path, you may be wondering what life in drug or alcohol recovery might look like. You may have some concerns, questions, and feel a little bit like your life will not be as fun without substances.
Or maybe your life is pretty miserable because of alcohol or substance abuse. Therefore, you feel like a life in drug or alcohol recovery has to be better than the miserable life that you’re leading now. Sure, you may still be concerned, but there’s a little bit of hope within you that a life free from substances can be good.
Sobriety is a great way to live. Alcohol recovery is necessary. However, you will face some challenges for sure. I mean think about the many people who do drink on a regular basis. It’s hard to go anywhere where there’s no alcohol served anymore. It’s even being served in the movie theaters in some places.
Perhaps you were thinking about that right now. How are you going to do when you go to those functions or come home to have your nightly martini and you can’t? Does this freak you out? Does it make you feel hopeless?
The good news is that you can meet the challenges of recovery as they come. And you’ll meet them well when you’re a little bit prepared for what is coming.
Give up your need to fit in
Chances are you have a group of friends, and among those friends some of them drink or do drugs. The reality is that you’re going to have to limit your time with them for right now. Early recovery it’s just too tempting to be around it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can go to the parties and abstain from your drug of choice. Because your little mind will conjure up all sorts of reasons why you can have just one drink or just one hit of that substance. Then you’ll find yourself spiraling back into your addiction.
It can be challenging to say no thanks when your peers offer you a drink or drug. But you can do it and you don’t have to give them a reason as to why you don’t want to drink or drug. If you feel you must, you can certainly just be honest and say that you’ve given it up. Let them know that it was not serving your life well and that you want to live a life without poisoning your body with alcohol or drugs. Or you can just simply say no thanks and keep it moving. You can still fit in even if you are sober. And for those who think that you don’t fit in, well, they’re really not worth hanging out with anyway now, are they?
The alcohol aisle at the grocery store
For many people seeing the alcohol aisle at the grocery store is a challenge to their alcohol recovery. They take a peek just to see if their favorite beverages are still around and sure enough, they are. But it will serve you well to avoid walking down or even looking at the alcohol aisle when you go into your grocery stores. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can just walk down them and not be affected. Chances are your brain will start thinking of how good your favorite drinks would taste and how much fun you had while drinking them.
The reality is that you may have caught a buzz but in the grand scheme of things those beverages stole a lot from your life. Not only health-wise, but it probably affected relationships, finances, self-esteem, work, and more. The same goes with the alcohol stores. Do your best to avoid driving in front of them and of course not walking in them if you want to continue on in your alcohol recovery.
The big game
For those of you who like sports and hanging out with friends while watching them, the games could be a challenge for you if alcohol is a part of them. Whether you’re a spectator at a live event or you’re just hanging out with friends or family in a home, it can be challenging to just say no to those brewskies or a glass of your favorite whiskey. It may serve you well to have an accountability partner if you’re going to continue hanging out with friends during the sporting events. That could be your sponsor at a 12-step meeting, a friend or a loved one. Just being accountable that person before and during the sporting event can be helpful.
Many people equate vacation with drinking and drugging. There are a lot of people who give themselves permission to drink heavily while on vacation, stating that they deserve it. They deserve to get drunk or high and carry on like there’s no tomorrow. Chances are you’ve done this yourself. Now you might think of vacation and think that they will be super boring without your drink or drug. It may take some time to get used to vacation sober. You may even have a better time than you ever have before. Regular vacations may even help your drug or alcohol recovery because life can become stressful and it’s great to kick back and relax sometimes. You just don’t need substances in order to do so!
Think back to the times before you even started drinking or drugging and having a good time. Think back to you when you were a teenager or kid. Chances are you had a good time and knew how to laugh and be playful without alcohol. So to think that you can’t get back to that mentality is not reality. You certainly can.
Your emotional state
Another challenge to your drug and alcohol recovery is having to face your emotional issues. These may be the issues that you have been running from or numbing for many years. You may have been running from them since your childhood or a traumatic event.
When you take away the alcohol and drugs oftentimes negative emotions come up. Usually, pain from your past that you have not really dealt with. This can be tough for some people to contend with. Feeling pain is not something that we all like to do. Going back and revisiting your traumatic childhood or past isn’t something that is Pleasant. If you’re not willing to contend with those emotions in positive ways it will challenge your drug and alcohol recovery.
A great way to grow emotionally and begin healing those wounds is to go to therapy for a season. Working through such issues with a professional can help you process and get through those things that have happened in your life that you just didn’t know how to process or perhaps you abuse substances to get through it. Taking a season and really doing the work at the emotional level can bring you to a new level of freedom. I mean emotional freedom. You’ve probably thought before that you will never be happy but when you can dig through layer after layer of emotional pain and learn how to cope and process with it, you’ll begin experiencing a new freedom and a new level of joy that perhaps you’ve never even experienced before.
If you cannot afford counseling there are plenty of wonderful books on the topic and videos as well. Even attending a 12-step group and working the 12 steps with a sponsor can help you begin to heal Old Wounds and grow emotionally. It’s usually not the substances that are the true issue, but it’s the pain and wounds underneath the substances. When you can get to the very root of the matter you can break through and gained a new sense of freedom and love for yourself and others.
Help is available
Are you on the fence when it comes to drug or alcohol recovery? Have you been thinking about quitting or trying to quit for awhile now? Is alcohol or drugs really serving you well? Or is it causing you problems? Even if you’re only struggling mentally with using the substances that is still a problem.
The good news is that help is available. There are drug and alcohol recovery rehabs in every state. Whether you attend an inpatient or outpatient program, you can benefit greatly from using the time-tested advice from substance abuse professionals. You’ll learn a lot about addiction, as well as yourself. You do not have to struggle with the disease of addiction any longer. There is help available in the form of drug and alcohol recovery. Millions of people have stopped drinking and drugging and have made positive lasting changes in their lives and so can you. It will take hard work and it will take time. But anything of value in life takes hard work and time. But it’s always worth it. If you need help, contact a professional today. Don’t put this off another day. It’s your time to create the kind of life that you really want.