If you’re just beginning the road to recovery, you should know that there are two conditions that professionals typically see as a prerequisite for sobriety that is long-term and enduring.
There appears to be particular circumstances that are common to those who stay sober, to those whose stories are published in recovery books and on websites emphasizing sobriety. According to Guy Kettelhack, who is a recovering alcoholic and author of Sober and Free: Making Your Recovery Work for You, those two conditions are.
- Break through isolation and realize you are not alone.
- Get support for your decision to stay sober.
Below are a few ways to break the bubble of loneliness, and to get support for your decision to stay sober:
- Join a support group: It’s common for recovery addicts to feel marginalized, separate from the mainstream of society. However, belonging to a group can heal that sense of separation. Being with others who are in recovery can provide you with a listening ear as well as honest feedback. Of course, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) provides this sort of community support. However, there are other sources of group support in the community.
- Seek a sponsor or therapist: Support group has many benefits, as well as the one-on-one relationship you would have with a sponsor or therapist. In those relationships, you can experience a type of professional help that is focused on you and your particular needs.
- Seek support online: Although by going online you’re likely not going to find the kind of friendship and personal interaction that you would find in a support group or therapy, at least you’ll discover that you’re not alone. The web is filled with stories about how an addiction caused great suffering and then that individual turned it around. The Internet can be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and support.
- Find a sober living home: Of course, your own environment is going to be filled with temptation to drink or use drugs, from friends to family to commercials on television. Having a place to retreat to that is focused on helping you create a sober-free life can be incredibly supportive.
Some reaching for sober living would say that another contributor to long-term sobriety is spirituality, that with the pattern of powerlessness, which is true of all addictions, there must be a relationship with a higher being. However, others who have started the road to recovery years ago and have remained sober neither needed nor wanted the spiritual component. Their disbelief in anything spiritual kept them far from it. Yet, others who remained at arm’s length to the spirituality of AA, for example, later found that it was an essential part of their recovery process.
Although spirituality is a big factor for some, professional have narrowed it down to two factors. If you’re serious about getting sober and staying that way, remember two things: you’re not alone, and support for your decision is at your fingertips.
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