If you have decided that getting sober and staying sober is the right choice for you then you know that the journey will oftentimes be challenging. Here are five ways to stay committed to sobriety after you have recognized and admitted that alcohol is a problem in your life:
1– Know your triggers
Before deciding to live a sober lifestyle, we probably were not too concerned about recognizing and naming what caused us to drink. A key step in learning to recognize your triggers involves paying attention to what situations generate a strong emotional response. Listen to when your mind and body are sending you the message that you “need” a drink. When this happens and a response is activated, really take time to trace it back to its roots. Get curious and stay curious about yourself.
2– Focus on your support system
Find people, support groups and online accounts/communities that you can turn to when you are struggling and need reassurance, motivation and/or guidance. This isn’t always easy and even seeking professional support from a therapist can be incredibly important and beneficial. Be sure to prioritize spending time with loved ones having fun. Keeping yourself active and on a schedule can help keep your mind off of your cravings.
3– Allow yourself patience and grace
Embracing change is not an easy task. Our brains take time to adjust and as humans, it is more than likely there will be setbacks along the way. There is no such thing as perfect and understanding that on your sober journey is vital. This journey is yours and no one else’s so when challenges arise or you give into temptations, be patient with yourself and most importantly, be kind. You are growing every day and growth is not linear.
4– Keep communicating
It can be isolating when you decide to make a big change in your life. Communication can help bridge that gap and bring you closer to others along the way. Sharing your vulnerable thoughts, emotions and experiences can help build trust with others and strengthen relationships. It can also allow you to build more trust, respect and confidence in yourself. Deep bonds can be forged through honest communication and building a strong community based on your values is vital to remaining sober.
5– Learn how to respond and not react
Emotional, subconscious decisions can threaten your sobriety if work isn’t done to prevent these ingrained reactions. Learning to consciously take a step back and reflect on a triggering situation can mean the difference between returning to a life with alcohol or remaining sober. As you go along your sober journey, practice being mindful when tense scenarios arise. In these moments pause and breathe. Most importantly, consider the consequences of whatever choice you are feeling drawn to make and whether it is supporting your path or derailing it.