Living a sober lifestyle isn’t something that’s often talked about, which means for those who are considering a sober lifestyle, knowing where to start can be difficult.
Some people feel as if “living sober” is too taboo of a topic to bring up (let alone live out), especially if they have friends and family who frequently use drugs or alcohol.
Living a sober life offers a multitude of benefits, but it requires an incredible amount of patience, dedication, strength and bravery to live out. In a world where substances are not only heavily used as coping mechanisms but are so deeply integrated in recreational activities and social gatherings and holidays, living sober makes you an anomaly — a rebel of sorts.
Whether you’re struggling with a substance use disorder and want to start addressing the issue before it develops into an addiction, or are simply wanting to develop a healthier lifestyle, there’s no time to start like the new year.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the benefits of sobriety as well as share with you four practical steps you can take today toward living a sober life.
The benefits of sobriety
Sobriety isn’t easy, and there might be times when you find yourself asking, is it even worth it?
During these difficult phases, it can be helpful to not only remember the core reasons why you’re committing to this but all of the incredible benefits you’re receiving as well.
Some of these benefits include:
- Greater mental clarity, focus and memory
- Longer and more restful sleep patterns
- Clearer and “brighter” skin
- Strengthened immune system
- Higher levels of natural energy
- Saving more money
- Healthier, happier, deeper relationships
The above benefits are just a few of the countless positive effects of living a sober life; now that you’ve got a better idea of the benefits of sobriety, it’s time to start experiencing them.
How to get sober
Taking the first step towards sobriety is often the hardest because it requires you to acknowledge a change needs to happen, and then follow that acknowledgment with actions.
Below are our top four tips that will help keep you focused and committed to living sober.
1. Be honest with yourself
Being honest with yourself doesn’t mean beating yourself up or being overly self-critical, it means you have an honest, but empathetic, understanding of your current situation. Before you can start taking action towards achieving sobriety, you need to have a clear awareness of the exact role substance(s) play in your life so you can know how to move forward.
This might look like tracking your drug and alcohol consumption on a daily and/or weekly basis. Identifying the amount of money you put toward substance use, or recognizing the most frequent reasons of your use (to avoid discomfort or pain, ignore problems, recreational/social).
2. Accept that things will change
When you start removing substances from your life, you’ll experience a variety of both positive changes (such as the benefits we listed above) and painful changes. You’ll become vividly aware of how many social gatherings and activities revolve around alcohol, and may experience judgment or even shunning from people you consider friends as you start improving your life.
Change can be challenging, but challenging doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong. It’s natural to experience a sense of loss or grief when you begin removing substances from your life, as it leads to the “death” of a former lifestyle. habits and often, certain relationships. Remind yourself that it’s normal to experience highs and lows through this transition, and don’t give up.
3. Be patient with the process
Getting sober from drugs or sober from alcohol is not going to happen in a day, a week or even a month. While the timeline is different for everyone and is going to be unique to your individual circumstance, it’s normal for sobriety to take months (or even years) to fully achieve.
It’s going to be hard, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. Setbacks happen, but that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Take the process day-by-day, learn from the challenges, be compassionate with yourself along the way and hold onto the reason(s) why you started.
4. Seek professional help
Going through withdrawals without professional medical supervision can be risky, as certain withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even fatal when not treated in time or properly.
Professional help is always recommended to be sought out for those pursuing sobriety.
We know it can be overwhelming to know where to begin when it comes to recovery, which is why we’ve made your final step as easy as possible: simply send us a message.
Start living a sober life today
Mazzitti & Sullivan Counseling is a leading healthcare provider that specializes in mental health clinical services, counseling and substance use recovery support.
Our client-focused treatment plans are designed to not only help you achieve long-term sobriety, but also teach you how to create a happy and fulfilling sober lifestyle.
Send us a message or give us a call today to get started.