Early Sobriety: Suggestions for Staying Sober
Getting sober is probably one of the most challenging life changes an individual can make. There are some simple steps that can help an individual on the pathway to lifelong recovery. No doubt about it, achieving lifelong sobriety is a challenge, but there are tools and resources that will make the process more manageable in early sobriety. The following are some suggestions to take if you are new in recovery or feel stuck in a rut in your sobriety.
- Attend a support group several times a week → Whether you find your support through the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another non-12-step fellowship group, attending a support group will help you access support and feedback for your various ups and downs in recovery. While 12-Step Fellowships might not be the right tool for you, it has helped a good deal of struggling addicts and alcoholics to find lasting recovery. Regardless, attending a support group of any kind will help you to stay on track and receive the support you need to stay sober.
- Stay closely connected to other recovering people → Fellowship is one of the many aspects of sobriety. Staying closely connected to those who have the similar goal of staying clean and sober will most likely be very important for your recovery journey. Reaching out to new people at meetings and socializing with other recovering addicts is a great way to receive support and experience fellowship.
- Find a sponsor or a mentor → 12-Step Fellowships use the term “sponsor,” someone who guides you through the 12 steps. A sponsor or mentor can provide a great deal of support throughout your journey in recovery. Learning from someone who has been through the same experiences as you have been in your addiction is a great way to learn how to navigate your sobriety.
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine → When we are in active addiction, we often neglect our health and wellness. Drinking alcohol and using drugs does a great deal of damage to our bodies. In sobriety, it is important to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly in order to maintain our physical and emotional health. Keeping our bodies nourished not only helps us perform better physically, but also emotionally. And regular exercise releases endorphins, which help to boost positive feelings and helps with long-term mental health.
- Find a new hobby you enjoy → In active addiction, we were solely focused on getting our next drink or drug. In early sobriety, free time may feel scary or overwhelming. We sometimes forget how to be alone with ourselves and it can feel intimidating. A great way to deal with these uncomfortable feelings is to find a new hobby that we enjoy. Perhaps you were an avid reader or painter before your addiction really set in; now, is a great time to explore our interests and discover who we really are without drugs and alcohol.
These are just a few simple, but sometimes challenging, steps we can take to navigate our new life in recovery. What other suggestions do you have for someone in early sobriety? Feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have about this blog.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and mental illness, help is available. Serenity Now, CMHC is a licensed and accredited addiction and mental illness treatment center. For more information about our programs and services, or if you have any questions about addiction and recovery, call our 24-hour confidential helpline today at 866.802.5868.