It takes work to transition from substance abuse to recovery. When recovery comes, you’ll have won half the battle. We say “half” because there’s another half to recovering from substance abuse — staying sober.
For many, staying sober is more challenging than the initial transition from addiction to recovery. In fact, according to American Addiction Centers, relapses are more likely and dangerous the longer a person avoids a substance.
Addiction is a powerful force that can take over your life and negatively impact your health, relationships, and overall well-being. However, it’s important to know that recovery is possible, and the majority of people who experience addiction eventually recover, with a success rate of 75%. By kicking the habit and committing to a life of sobriety, you can take control of your life and work towards a healthier, happier future.
One reason addiction is so challenging to overcome is that the brain’s reward circuit is affected, causing surges of dopamine that reinforce pleasurable but unhealthy activities. This can lead to a tolerance effect, where over time, the high that you feel from the addictive behavior reduces. However, with dedication and support, you can break the cycle of addiction and regain control over your life.
Additionally, addiction does not necessarily last a lifetime. While factors such as genetics, childhood traumas, and mental health diagnoses can increase the risk of addiction, recovery is possible with the right treatment and support. By taking steps such as setting a quit date, changing your environment, finding new hobbies or relationships, and exercising, you can create a fulfilling life without the need for addictive substances or behaviors.
Remember, addiction may have had a negative impact on your life, but by committing to recovery, you can regain control and live a fulfilling, happy life. Seek support from loved ones, healthcare professionals, or addiction support groups to help you along the way. The journey to recovery may not be easy, but it is worth it.
The Importance of Staying Sober
Staying committed to sobriety is critical for maintaining long-term recovery. It requires overcoming negative beliefs about yourself and your past behavior, as well as avoiding relapse triggers and finding healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress and other challenges. Here are some reasons why staying committed to sobriety is essential:
Staying sober will challenge you like no other obstacle in life can. Luckily, there’s hope. Even better, there are simple, actionable solutions to lasting recovery and a better quality of life.
By applying these strategies, you’ll be on the road to lasting recovery and sobriety.
Here are our five tips on how to stay committed to sobriety:
1. Eliminate Triggers
You didn’t initially recover from substance abuse because of sheer willpower alone. Your facility had an environment that was conducive to substance addiction recovery. In particular, your facility may have been devoid of anything that may trigger a relapse.
For this reason, begin by removing everything from your environment that can lead you to a relapse. Right off the bat, this means eliminating substances, media, and paraphernalia from your home. Removing triggers can even mean cutting ties with old friends who enable or encourage your use of alcohol or other substances.
Eliminating triggers will remove your access to a substance. As a result, even when the desire or craving for alcohol or drugs is at its peak, you’ll have no means to relapse.
2. Create a Routine and Stick to It
Routines are powerful. Not only do they give more structure to your day; they also remove decision fatigue, which can trigger a craving and recollections of your substance use.
The key to a sustainable routine is progression. Daily activities should be in a sequence that progresses from the simplest to the more challenging.
For example, starting with vigorous exercise at the beginning of the day is a recipe for disaster. On the other hand, you’re more likely to stick to a routine that begins with simpler tasks like making your bed or showering.
All in all, it’s all about filling your days with activities you can perform. Make a habit of your routine, and you’ll experience empowerment as you kick your addiction.
3. Surround Yourself With Supportive People
There’s a saying: “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
You don’t need to limit your friends to just five people. The deeper meaning behind this proverb is that the people you surround yourself with make a significant difference in your identity and the goals you wish to achieve — in this case, lasting recovery.
Surround yourself with people who know about your journey. Share your goals of lasting recovery, so they’ll know what they can help with. Also, they can hold you accountable in case you get side-tracked.
Besides supportive people, you must also seek other forms of addiction support. This is where tip number four comes in.
4. Join a Support Group
Support groups are effective in aiding recovering individuals. According to Mayo Clinic, support groups make recovery more manageable by providing support, counsel, and companionship to individuals trying to stay sober.
If you’re looking for support groups, you have two types to choose from. You can opt for a communal specific group or a specialized substance treatment group.
Communal specific groups can provide you with a deep sense of belonging as you recover with the support of people who share your cultural beliefs. A good group will help reassure you that you’re not alone in your pursuit of lasting sobriety.
Specialized substance treatment support groups like AA can help deal with the specific type of addiction you have. In a specialized substance treatment support group, you’ll learn strategies specific to the substance you’re trying to abstain from permanently.
5. Celebrate Your Smallest Victories
The road to sobriety is challenging. This is why you should celebrate every small milestone or victory you achieve.
Did you abstain for a day despite recurring thoughts of alcohol? That’s a win.
Did you make your bed even if you felt awful? You’ve taken a step towards kickstarting your day positively.
Are you in a support group? You’re in one because you’re strong enough to recognize that you need other people for support.
Whatever you achieved in your journey to lasting sobriety, know that you’re on the right path — and that’s worth recognizing and celebrating.
Reach Out for Support
If you’re struggling with staying committed to your sobriety, it can be tough to keep going. But with the right mindset and tools, you can continue on your path to recovery. At Choose Life Adventures, we offer sober travel experiences that can help you stay motivated and engaged with your sobriety. Whether you’re looking to connect with others who are also in recovery or just need a break from your everyday routine, our trips are designed to help you grow and thrive. Contact us today to learn more about our upcoming adventures and how they can help you on your journey.
Additionally, we have a blog filled with helpful resources and tips on staying sober. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Let Choose Life Adventures be a part of your support system as you work towards a healthier, happier you.