It isn’t easy to achieve long-term sobriety or give up on your addictive behavior. And once you do, it is equally challenging to be strong enough to retain it forever. Sometimes, life can throw in situations lucrative enough to break your sobriety, flipping you in a loop all over again. Any adverse condition, be it the loss of someone close to you, losing a job, getting divorced, or merely the inability to control your craving can lead you to drown your year-long efforts of putting blood, sweat, and tears in getting sober. Now, do you want that? Of course not.
A forthcoming relapse doesn’t knock your door. Instead, it bangs its way in to knock your sobriety off. So the question, how do you keep yourself from breaking your own vows? First things first, it wouldn’t be easy. Nothing is. If you continue with the same routine and habits you had before you pledged to be sober, it becomes easy to adapt your old behavior and get addicted again. So in order for you to retain your sobriety for long, here are a few quick tips!
Set Short Term Goals to Attain Long-Term Sobriety
If you want to remain clean for one year, you will have to pass six months. To achieve six months of sobriety, you will have to get through thirty days. Focus on making it past today, then a week, then a month, and soon you will enjoy a whole year of being sober. If you are ardent enough to maintain it, you will soon develop a habit to live without alcohol or drugs. A clean, drug/alcohol-free life.
So you have invested weeks, probably months in getting sober. Back to the past routine now shall we? The last thing you would want to do, after your first few clean-months, is cut corners from your new routine. The moment laziness gets you, it becomes easy to slip into older habits forcing you to leave your sobriety far behind. Maintain a strict routine and make sure you are committed enough to follow it throughout the year.
Use Your Time Well
The void, be it any, you have in your life can be a major reason for you to go back to your previous routine including addiction. It doesn’t matter how many years of sobriety you have, if you don’t find a way to spend your free time, you are likely to relapse. This happens more in cases where either you have left a job, lost someone, or have an ample amount of time for the addiction to kick in. Don’t let it do so. Be firm enough to dodge it. Engage yourself in a hobby, meditate, or do anything to keep your brain positively occupied.
Take Your Good Care
You feel the best when you’re happy. The more pleased you are, the less likely it is for the addiction to get the best of you. Exercise daily, feed your body with proper nutrition and focus on your inner self using Yoga or meditation. Trust me, the moment you start enjoying a healthy lifestyle, there is no going back. It’s an addiction you would want to keep for life.
Don’t Jump The Gun
People get way too excited after a few years of being sober and start visiting places that they went to while addicted. Contrary to their belief, many researchers prove that addiction can kick in anytime even after a few years of enjoying complete sobriety. Try easing your way into these environments instead of being cocky and putting yourself in a situation that you are absolutely not prepared for.
One Bad Day Shouldn’t Turn Into A Relapse
Keep reminding yourself that the ultimate goal is to completely eradicate substance abuse from your life. However, a lot of hard work goes into transforming a complete addiction into just another thing of your past, which makes long-term sobriety even more difficult to sustain. There could be a bad day when you slip out. Instead of increasing the consumption of alcohol/drugs in the wake of blaming yourself, rededicate yourself to recovery. Spend time assuring that you do not repeat the same again.
There’s No Such Thing As Moderation
What did you aim when you first thought of getting sober? The idea was to completely cease substance abuse and never touch alcohol/drugs again. There is no concept of moderation in sobriety. Thinking it is okay to just have a drink once a year or an all-night alcohol party wouldn’t pose a threat to your vows is futile. These one-times can decimate your plan of achieving long term success. Think and then act.
Adopt A Pet
Having a pet itself adds structure to your lifestyle. Where on one hand, it is helpful to boost your mood, on the other, their responsibility can direct your deviating mind on the right path. Also, let’s not forget the unconditional love animals offer. It is irreplaceable.
Maintaining Long-term Sobriety
Let’s face it. Despite everyone’s suggestion, attaining long-term sobriety is not an easy goal. But then again, it also depends on how desperately you want to get rid of substance abuse and come out clean. All the tips listed above only works if you have what it takes to dive into a world where you would face enough distractions and temptations to change your mind. Whether or not to follow them is still in your hands. One wrong choice can take you on an inescapable path. Whereas one right choice can gift you a life free of alcohol, drugs, and everything that was once steadfast to deteriorate your health. Click here for more tips and resources at SAMHSA’s website.
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