Defining Sober Living: What Does It Mean to You to Be Sober?
Sober living is defined differently by every person who walks this path in life.
Whether it is one day or 1,000 days, your life from the moment you stop using drugs and alcohol is uniquely your own. That is, once you are able to step away from these substances, your opportunities expand. You alone can define what being sober means to you.
Consider Life Before Recovery
To define what a sober life can mean for you, take a long, hard look at life before recovery. You likely spent your days thinking about the substance of your choosing. You may have spent little time with the people you love or enjoying your favorite hobbies. Many times, the only thought you had during the course of the day was determining where you were going to get your next fix.
Even worse, you didn’t fear the consequences of using. You feared the way you would feel if you didn’t get that substance.
You existed during this time. You didn’t live a life you wanted to, though. Your life was motivated solely by your addiction. Now, you have a new path, one you get to define from the start.
It Isn’t an Easy One
Finding work, rebuilding relationships, and establishing a new day-to-day existence can be one of the hardest parts of recovery. Though you likely have some help from our team at Victory, you also have a wide range of obstacles to overcome on this path. As you move from the mindset of how bad life was, consider the journey ahead. By creating a few goals, you may be able to carve out a better life that you are proud of.
Recognize that recovery and being sober are two very different things. As long as you are not using, you are sober. However, recovery takes a process of rebuilding your life in every facet. Now that you are sober, though, you can better define what your future holds.
Begin with Basic Goals
For many men and women living a sober lifestyle, there are a few key areas that tend to be the most difficult to reestablish in recovery. Here is a closer look at a few areas to think about first.
- You need a safe and stable place to live. Transitional housing is one of the options many men and women benefit from because it gives you a safe space where you can learn and grow. Talk to your counselors about the value this can offer to you.
- Re-entering the workforce is a hard process, too. However, you may be able to use this time in treatment to learn and grow your opportunities. It may be time to learn a new skill at a community college, for example. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? Consider the steps towards getting to that point.
- Relationships are challenging for many people in early recovery. Decide who you feel you most want to have in your life right now. Work with your counselors to address those relationships you may need to leave behind.
Building the Future in Recovery
For every person with an addiction, it is necessary to recognize that there is not end point to this journey. That is, you need to continuously work towards improving your quality of life and rebuilding each day. Using a 12-Step program, ongoing group meetings, and outpatient care from your team at Victory can help you on this path.
Create some goals for yourself about your new sober life. Choose these or other promises to make to yourself, for example.
- Choose to establish new relationships and friendships with people that are outside of your previous world of addiction.
- Build yourself up through a mentor from your recovery meetings. Once your sobriety is firmly established, you may want to become a mentor to someone else struggling to get started.
- Commit yourself to building a better version of yourself based on the things you like and want to accomplish. Value yourself and put yourself first in that path.
- Value your freedom from addiction. Keep in the back of your mind what life before recovery was like.
- Work to build your physical health. This may mean ongoing medical care to recover from the physical toll of addiction.
- Learn to recognize your thoughts and concerns. Instead of turning to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate, realize these are the moments you need to reach out for support and help. Remember it is okay to feel alone, sad, and disappointed. Everyone has down times.
Sober living is about continuously working to rebuild yourself. Where you are right now is just a stepping stone to the person you want to become. Define who that is. Then, work with your team at Victory to make it a reality.
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