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The Journey of Getting Sober

Sobriety is a process of transformation that involves many different stages. It constitutes a holistic approach, which covers the physical, mental, and emotional facets of the problem of addiction. It is a journey of self-discovery that demands steadfastness, determination, and the ability of a soul to plunge into those issues that cause substance abuse.

7 Minute Read | Published Aug 07 2023 | Updated May 22 2024 Expert Verified
Jennifer Williams
Reviewed by
Jennifer Williams
Reviewed by

In this article, we look at the process of sobriety, why choosing to get sober can be one of the most beneficial decisions you ever make, how to get started, and tips on maintaining sobriety in the long term, which will lead you to a more fulfilling life.

Why Choose Sobriety?

The decision to get sober requires immense courage and determination. The process towards sobriety is very challenging since it necessitates courage and perseverance to achieve it; however, the end gains could be immeasurably satisfying, and your whole life would be greatly changed for the better.

Getting healthier has a direct effect on your organism coming from sobriety. Addiction is one of the most harmful behaviors for the body since it can impact blood vessels, lungs, and the heart. By being sober, you can help your body be healthier. Sobriety can help you enhance your energy reserves, sleep better at night, improve your skin look, and strengthen your immune system.

An added benefit of sobriety is that it can improve your mental health by improving your mood, lessening the levels of anxiety, and finally leading to a better outlook on life as well.

Rebuilding relationships is another of the advantages that come with recovery and lasting sobriety. When we remain sober, we indeed show our loved ones that it is possible to change, that we are determined and thus ready to reestablish what was lost as a result of our addiction patterns. Sobriety also provides more financial flexibility since the personal budget is no longer affected by spending on addictive substances.

How to Start?

The first and most important step on the recovery road is admitting you have a problem. Once the choice to get sober is made, the next task is to seek social support. A continuous relationship with a solid supporting network is among the cornerstones of facing barriers in the future. The system may be composed of different people, such as friends, family members, or Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups.

There are diverse professionals who can provide tools and techniques based on their expertise, going from addiction specialists and therapists to counselors. They do this considering certain factors like the substance of abuse, length, and severity of addiction, medical history, and any co-existing mental health conditions.

Detoxification is an essential part of the experience of getting sober. With toxic substances being removed from the body, detox provides you the opportunity to break away from the physical bondage of addiction. Medical detox offers necessary support, observation, and even medicines in some cases to mitigate the risks and symptoms of withdrawal.

Professional treatment programs also include evidence-based treatments that have demonstrated high recovery rates in people who have been through addiction. These types of therapy are different techniques that target the psychological, emotional, and behavioral elements of addiction, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing, which are usually provided at aftercare programs and are also fundamental in the sobriety journey since they help prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.

How Can You Stay Sober?

Staying sober is challenging, and you should be aware of it when starting this journey. Different feelings will arise, and most of them will be negative, such as guilt, shame, and regret; you should try to remember that you are doing your best now and your past version is gone.

Successful short-term recovery demands continuous dedication to self-awareness, but, for long-term recovery, taking a broader and deeper approach is needed to prevent relapses.

Here are some well-researched and evidence-based strategies to help you:

Identifying and Avoiding Triggers:

Identify who, what, and where you want or crave substances, and be aware of the situations that challenge your willpower. Once you have recognized these triggers, you should take action and modify your social circle, even the places that you frequently go, to not be exposed to them.

Building a Support Network:

As long as you have people in your life who understand and become involved in your recovery process, everything will be all right. A support network is of the utmost importance, so it is imperative to try to connect with your family, friends, and anyone you trust, feel comfortable with, and who won’t encourage you to relapse. Having support and encouragement for sobriety from positive influences can make a significant difference in maintaining your sobriety.

Create a Relapse Prevention Plan:

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the relapse rates for addiction are similar to those of other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. Thus, one must consider it a setback, not a failure. The plan should, therefore, include ways to deal with strong cravings, an emergency contact list, coping strategies, and steps to take in case of relapse.

Establishing a Structured Daily Routine:

This is an empowering tool to achieve sobriety and prosperity. Arranging activities on a regular schedule creates an opportunity for organically weaving healthy life choices, coping mechanisms, and self-care techniques into your life. The long-term success of your goals will depend largely on the level of incorporation of these behaviors into your daily activities.

The arrangement of regularly scheduled time makes an opportunity for organically weaving healthy life choices, coping mechanisms, and self-care techniques into your life. The long-term success of your goals will depend largely on the level of incorporation of these behaviors into your daily activities. Some examples include:

  • Staying physically active:

One of the best things that can help you keep up with your recovery is to work out. It is fulfilling and generates a positive mindset, which may also reduce the risk of relapse. You may choose an activity you are passionate about, such as running, practicing karate, or even dancing, and put it on your schedule as part of your regimen. Make a goal of at least 30 minutes of moderate-impact activity on most days of the week.

  • Practice Mindfulness, Meditation, Deep Breathing, or Relaxation Techniques: 

Set aside only a few minutes of your daily routine so you can spend them on some focused, mindful observation. You can let all those thoughts go around without judging them while you are having a guided meditation.

  • Balanced Nutrition:

Choose a platter of various fruits, veggies, full grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats each time you eat. A balanced diet supports your physical and mental health.

  • Good Quality Sleep:

An essential part of the agenda is having enough sleep every night. A minimum of 7-9 hours is necessary to help the body recover, enhance mood, and improve cognitive function.

  • Hydration: 

Ensure that you drink sufficient amounts of water daily.

  • Self-Care Activities:

Energize yourself by taking part in what gives you satisfaction and staying on the flip side of the self-care sidewalk. One can do it in many ways, for example, by taking a warm bath that is very satisfying, applying aromatherapy, reading, playing music, enjoying sports like soccer, cooking, taking pictures, or practicing a creative outlet that is achieved, for example, through paint and drawing. 

Use Technology Tools:

Online communities can support people by offering them the opportunity to join a safe place with others recovering so they can deal with their lives together.

Mobile Apps for Sobriety Tracking and Motivation:

The market for smartphone apps that help people cope with staying sober, tracking progress, and keeping motivated is filled with various, useful applications. Many of these apps will feature modules that keep daily pledge reminders, sobriety counters, positive quotes, and milestones in their arsenals.

Virtual Therapy: 

People can now much better and more efficiently reach their counselors and therapists from home. This becomes useful for people with obstacles to face-to-face therapy, such as long traveling distances or a lack of transportation.

Regarding these online resources and applications, checking their credibility, privacy, and adherence to evidence-based practice is critically important.

Aftercare:

Completing a treatment program does not end the difficulties and challenges faced. Attending groups like Alcoholics Anonymous regularly, going to counseling sessions, and medication management are also important on this path. These activities help people identify and deal with their issues and develop coping skills to prevent relapses. 

Various types of sober living environments, such as life skills training, relapse prevention counseling, etc., provide the missing link that enables individuals to lead clean and sober lives daily. These programs usually have a sponsor who plays a crucial role in recovery and relapse prevention.

 

Finally, deciding to go sober is a bold and life-changing decision that will affect both physical and mental well-being in positive ways. Surround yourself with a support group, be ready to get help from a professional, and consistently practice self-care so that you remain unhampered.

Resources

bullet Substance Abuse
"The relationship of social support to treatment entry and engagement: The Community Assessment Inventory."
Retrieved on April 23, 2024
bullet Social Work in Public Health
"Integrated Treatment of Substance Use and Psychiatric Disorders."
Retrieved on April 23, 2024
bullet American Psychological Association
"Preventing relapse"
Retrieved on April 23, 2024
bullet Health Education & Behavior
"Exercise in the Treatment of Addiction: A Systematic Literature Review"
Retrieved on April 23, 2024
bullet Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy
"Mindfulness-based programs for substance use disorders: a systematic review of manualized treatments."
Retrieved on April 23, 2024
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