Suggestions to Help Overcome Substance Abuse

Let’s face it, there’s no handbook for sobriety. It’s an ongoing process that looks different for everyone. Because of Pathfinders Recovery Center, I was able to get my life back and enjoy a sober lifestyle free of substance abuse. You can make sobriety work for you as well if you keep reading. Think of this as my unofficial guide on how to get sober.

Drug abuse and alcohol abuse affect millions of individuals. It isn’t just the addict that suffers either. When I was deep in my drug abuse, I saw what it did to my family members. They eventually needed family therapy in order to deal with the trauma that my addiction inflicted on their lives.

There are many different approaches to getting sober. The best way to deal with any kind of addiction is to get to the core of it. Why did this happen? Usually, people who are dealing with substance abuse got there because of some kind of past trauma or some type of mental health issues. No one becomes an addict out of nowhere.

Keep reading to find out more about how to get sober from my own experience, as well as how Pathfinders Recovery can help you get a solid foundation for your own sobriety!

Which Substance Abuse Treatment Is Right for You?

Substance Abuse Treatment

It can be difficult to know what will work for you unless you try a few things out. Some forms of treatment might look different from others. There are treatment professionals who work with specific types of addictions. For example, a treatment program for alcohol abuse may vary from a treatment program geared toward opiate addicts.

Having support makes all the difference. Support groups are a big part of recovery, and they give you the opportunity to talk things out in a group setting with no judgment. It helps a lot to hear other people’s stories because it reminds you that you aren’t alone in your recovery journey.

When I hear other people talk about their recovery, it gives me the motivation to work on myself. In mutual support groups you feed off the energy of others in the group. Emotional support is a huge part of staying sober and thriving in your recovery.

You can learn a lot of coping skills in the support group setting. You are given a lot of tools that can help you in the future, specifically relapse prevention skills and other productive tips that can not only help you succeed but challenge yourself along the way.

Support Groups to Help Stay Sober

When I was newly sober from alcohol and coke, I was terrified of failing and letting my loved ones down. I really wanted to succeed, but I didn’t know if I had it in me. Through building a support network, I was able to establish myself in a new community of people whose number one priority was living a clean lifestyle.

When you’re around other people who are trying to do the right thing, it’s infectious. You are the company you keep, as they say. When I was abusing drugs and alcohol, I only hung around other people who were also suffering from substance abuse. The idea of recovery seems impossible when being addicted becomes your norm.

A substance use disorder tricks us into thinking this is who we are forever. When you’re deep into an addiction, you can’t comprehend getting out of it. Most of the time you don’t care either. You’re not thinking about how to get sober, you’re only thinking of the next high. The idea of self-control doesn’t really resonate.

Long Term Sobriety Equals Long Term Success

Long Term Sobriety Equals Long Term Success

Long-term recovery is possible if you are willing to put the work in. My alcohol use slowly led me to cocaine addiction. I began drinking alcohol in high school in order to fit in. I wanted my close friends to accept me and think that I was cool. The lifestyle associated with heavy alcohol use usually leads you to become introduced to other forms of substance abuse.

Many people become addicts through alcohol abuse. It doesn’t help that alcoholic drinks are advertised all over the place. A lot of the alcoholic drinks out there these days are fruity and appealing to younger kids. Alcohol consumption at a young age can lead to many issues, including stunted brain and social development if you don’t stop drinking.

You learn a lot about your past through addiction treatment. Over a decade of alcohol misuse did a tremendous amount of damage to my body and soul. I stopped caring about life and refused to seek any treatment for both my addiction and my mental health problems. I have always suffered from depression, with or without alcohol being involved, and having an active addiction can quickly make your depression spiral out of control.

Surviving Withdrawal Symptoms During Addiction Recovery

One of the toughest parts of the initial recovery process is dealing with withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug you are addicted to. In the case of alcohol, it is one of the few substances where withdrawal can be fatal, particularly in severe cases.

Withdrawing from opiates or drugs like cocaine may be very uncomfortable, but it is typically not deadly. Because I was an alcoholic and a cocaine abuser, my detox process had multiple phases. My withdrawal symptoms began within a few hours after I last used. The alcohol detox was the scariest. I was definitely struggling throughout this process, but the good people at Pathfinders gave me a lot of extra support in order to help me get through it.

Once I got through detox, that’s when the real work began. At first, sobriety seemed way too difficult, but after going through the detox for alcohol that I did, I was willing to do whatever I needed to do to make it work. The benefits were immediate. I started feeling better physically, and slowly got my mind back as well.

Preventing Relapse and Negative Thoughts

Preventing Relapse

In order to prevent relapse, you have to work on yourself every day and keep in mind that you are one step away from slipping up. I know that no matter how long I’ve been sober, I’m one drink away. I had intense urges for the first few months, and occasionally still feel the urge to drink alcohol, sometimes for no reason other than passing a billboard with beer or liquor displayed. Drinking is a tough one because it is so socially acceptable. Relapse on alcohol is incredibly common, even when you detox and stop drinking for a long while.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are programs that give addicts a space to talk it out. For me to stay sober, it’s vital that I attend meetings and talk about how I feel. My depression still creeps in, but I’ve learned to accept those feelings, feel them, and then let them pass. Getting serious about addiction treatment has given me the tools to succeed and keep me sober.

SMART Recovery is another reputable program. SMART stands for self-management and recovery training. There are slight differences from one support network to another, but the principles mostly remain the same. A recovering individual is expected to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and consistently work on themselves in order to make it work.

When I quit drinking, it felt like I was leaving a part of myself behind. This initially made me sad, but I have learned to love the person I have become. I never loved myself when I was drinking. I remain sober because I value my physical and mental health like I never did before.

Get Sober and Enjoy The Benefits

Sometimes you need to find unique ways to stay motivated in your recovery from substance use. Struggling through your initial sobriety is normal and doesn’t mean it will be that way forever. It’s all about finding a balance and understanding the reality of the situation. To maintain sobriety, you have to always be seeking new ways to get high… on life.

I play a lot of sports and try to remain physically active. My sleeping patterns changed dramatically once I became sober as well. Insomnia and anxiety aren’t there anymore. I wake up every day ready to face the next challenge. My body’s ability to bounce back from alcohol and substance use disorders really shocked me. Now that I have gotten to this place, I work hard to maintain what I’ve achieved.

I expect to have trying moments and face the risk of relapse. I know that is a possibility, but I try not to let it control my thoughts. I try to live in the moment as much as possible. I do this not just for myself, but for the people around me.

In order to properly contribute to my support group, I have to be honest with myself and everyone else as much as possible. If I’m not feeling great, I talk about it. If I feel like I’m going down the wrong path, I make that known. Recovery is all about developing coping skills and using the resources available to you to keep your sobriety going.

Embrace The Process Of Staying Sober

Process Of Staying Sober

Once I finally submitted to the recovery process, I found myself enjoying it more and more and seeing the benefits. There is always a risk that I relapse, but I can control it today. I can set goals for myself and seek out the resources I need to stay the course. Finding an effective way to maintain your sobriety can be difficult, but you have to expect a challenge.

Embracing the process of addiction treatment makes it all possible. Knowing the consequences of substance abuse give you a good place to start. I know that if I have that one drink, it will quickly lead me downhill. I cannot drink alcohol or put drugs in my body. I know that, and I remind myself of that all the time. I stay sober because sobriety is on my mind all the time.

The Emotional Rewards of Recovery

Sobriety is one of the richest feelings a person can feel. It took me a long time to develop the tools I need to move forward with my life, but the benefit of getting sober was worth the ride. I have a lot of motivation to grow as a person and help support those around me. I never imagined sobriety would be so much fun.

Challenging myself on a regular basis was crucial to my getting sober and staying sober. I was not prepared to work on my issues for many years during my alcoholism and cocaine addiction. The path I was on was leading me to an early grave, and I didn’t care. I couldn’t cope with life or anything challenging. I didn’t imagine I would ever quit drinking alcohol or using cocaine. That idea sounded like a fantasy to me.

Your Treatment Plan Is Everything

Finding the right treatment plan depends on the addiction and the kind of person that you are. We are all different in a multitude of ways. Our addictions may look similar, but there are differences between them as well. My alcoholism isn’t much different from anyone else’s alcoholism, but there are subtle variations.

The treatment program you choose makes all the difference in your recovery. For me to stop drinking, it took me trying several different treatment options in order to find the right fit. My alcohol use led me down some dark paths, and it wasn’t until I found the right treatment program for me in order to feel any optimism.

Overcoming addiction differs for many people. In a bid to understand how people get over their addiction and dependence on a substance, psychologists have crafted a theory known as the stages of change.

Maintaining Sober Support in Recovery

Substance abuse requires a lot of mutual support, from someone other than a friend or even a family member. You need to surround yourself with people who know what you are going through. I have a wonderful support system, and the decisions I make in my daily life are a result of my wanting to make these people proud. It’s also important for me to be proud of myself as well.

You can’t spend all of your time trying to please everybody, but if you have the best people around you, it’s a motivating factor. I have an incredible support system and I don’t take it for granted. Making sober friends is much more rewarding than making friends on drugs or while drinking alcohol since the feelings of friendship and warmth don’t fade away.

Your Cumulative Experience In Getting Sober

Support Sobriety

Getting sober from alcohol and coke was a group effort for me. It took all the people in my corner pushing me in order for me to get over the hump. This support is what got me to where I am today. I didn’t get sober exclusively because of the people around me, but they were a huge factor in it.

Drugs and drinking are in my past, but they are still somewhat in my rearview mirror. I have dreams occasionally about drinking and I wake up thinking that I relapsed. Being sober is a very routine-oriented lifestyle. You want to leave room for spontaneity, but you also want to try and be somewhat disciplined as well.

Although substance use was a big part of my past, I know that with a lot of hard work and dedication, it does not need to be a part of my future. I’m beyond thankful I quit when I did. I’m thankful that I quit period. Because of the support I have in my life, and the programs I am a part of, I live for today and make a better tomorrow for myself and for my family.

Get Sober and Stay Sober

Everyone needs a boost when they are trying to get sober. That continues into your sobriety. Programs and therapy work wonders and help keep you sober. But if you are totally alone in your struggle, it can be harder to keep it going. We all need someone to lean on occasionally, and that isn’t always a bad thing. When I was getting sober, it took me a long time to feel comfortable talking about my issues.

I didn’t want to open myself up to criticism or judgment. Luckily, judgment is one of the things that people in recovery try their hardest to avoid. We are judgmental creatures, and one of the hardest parts of being a human being is trying not to judge others. This is a practice, and it’s something that takes a lot of effort. I try to be as self-aware as possible and hold myself accountable when I am judging others.

Staying on Path for Recovery from Alcohol

It can be a tricky thing sometimes to keep yourself in check, but if you continue to remind yourself of it, you can make it happen. When I find myself being too judgmental, I reflect on that. Why am I giving any attention to the things I don’t like in other people?

These feelings don’t serve me at all and take away from the work I can be doing on myself. I work on this every day, and it is instrumental in my recovery. The programs of recovery offered at Pathfinders were the building blocks I needed to feel as though I can confidently handle staying sober, even when it becomes challenging.

If you are looking for help with how to get sober, I recommend reaching out to the team at Pathfinders Recovery Center. I know it made a world of difference for me, and can help you or a loved one find a new and sober next chapter in life!


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