If you have ever been addicted to alcohol or drugs, you know how hard it is to let go of the addiction. When you are addicted, you become compulsive and lose a sense of your self-worth. You become a ghost of yourself, a shadow that is merely living. It is not an exaggeration to say addiction ruins lives. An addict ruins his own life and the life of his family members as well. Therefore, getting over addiction and staying sober is critical for one’s well-being. Continue reading this article to learn practical tips to help you maintain sobriety.
Know Your Triggers: If you want to stay sober, learn to recognize your triggers. For example, going into a bar might be an obvious trigger for an alcoholic. If you intend to avoid alcohol, do not agree to go into the bars to meet your buddies after work. Different addictions can have different triggers. For example, one who is addicted to screens may want to put their phone on mute or shut it down when not needed.
- Stress is one of the common triggers that force one to depend upon substances. Stress can be the result of work pressure or emotional distress. Therefore, plan your day in order to avoid or minimize stress as much as possible.
- Avoid people who encourage you to break sobriety and join ‘the fun’. You will succumb to peer pressure if all of your friends encourage you to do drugs or drink more. Not all friends want the best for you; they want to keep things the way that would benefit them.
Support Group: You need to surround yourself with people who have gone through what you are going through now. They will understand your struggle better than anyone else. People who are on their way to recovery look for addiction support groups that let them stay on the right path. You can talk about your addiction with the support group members without feeling a sense of shame or guilt. And when you open up to a group of supportive people, you feel as if you are not alone. The sense of community helps you recover faster.
Anticipate Withdrawal Symptoms: When you cut down your addiction cold turkey, your body cannot process the sudden change. Your body will crave more of the substance that you were putting in. Therefore, it is natural to experience Post AcuteWithdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) way after the detox period. After quitting the substance, one may experience such cravings for six months to two years. The more lethal the substance was, the longer it would take to get over the cravings.Create New Habits: As mentioned before, you must avoid the triggers if you want to maintain sobriety. One of the surest ways to get rid of old habits is to create new ones. For example, maybe after work, you went to the bar to get rid of work stress. But now, you can do the same by going to the bowling alley. You may even join a gym to relieve stress after work. Come up with a new routine and practice healthy living.