It’s a new year, and for many people, that thought brings a lot of hope to the table. With the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, the perfect time has come to close the chapter on the past and start fresh with a positive outlook. Even if you are not big on New Year’s resolutions, there’s a reason to be excited for 2018. If you have been struggling with sobriety or have only recently decided to act against your addiction, then this month is the perfect time to get ready to combat your addiction and make it through the next year entirely sober.
Sobriety is challenging not just because you’re abstaining from drugs, but because to be sober, a person usually must change. There’s this false idea that changing on any fundamental level is impossible, but that’s not true.
We can all learn to change our habits, pick up new hobbies, dispel old connotations, or even grow as people long after we’ve become adults. In fact, if people weren’t capable of change, we wouldn’t have to worry about addiction.
2018 is the perfect time for you to take up the task of changing your life for the better.
Why the New Year?
We’re in the month of January, so if you’re currently struggling with sobriety or just recently decided to get serious about treatment, then starting on the New Year is more a matter of circumstance than deliberate timing. The sooner you get started on recovery, the sooner you’ll get through the bumps of early recovery and the struggles of being sober right after months or years of addiction and destructive behavior.
Otherwise, if you’ve simply been looking for the right opportunity to make a change in your life, then there is no better time than now. The New Year’s spirit is simple: the old year is dead, long live the new year. In a day and age where reinventing yourself has become an industry, January is the perfect month for motivation and enthusiasm. Everybody wants to change something in the new year, and although many people struggle to fulfill their own expectations, all you need is the kickstart to get onto a journey that will last much longer than a single year.
It’s not just a modern tradition. With the new year eventually comes the end of winter, and the beginning of spring, a time for rejuvenation and reinvention. And just like how the early months of 2018 will be spent slowly defrosting our lives, it can also be used to make it past the harsh and frigid first months of addiction treatment.
How Sobriety Can Change Your Life
Sobriety will have a massive impact on your overall health and wellbeing – but it will also give you a new lease on life. Many people make the wrong assumption about sobriety, assuming a sober life to be boring, ascetic, and more of a punishment than a freeing experience. Others make sobriety out to be the end-all solution to all your problems – that once you quit drinking, smoking or using, everything will sort itself out.
Neither is true. Sobriety gives you an opportunity to live life with a clear head, so you can enjoy living again by reforming old relationships, creating new bonds, making brand new memories and experiences, and feeling love the way it’s meant to be felt.
But the road to learning to enjoy being sober, and figuring out just how to live life without drugs, is a long and bumpy road. There’s a reason many people jump into a life of sobriety only to become dry drunks – living is never easy, but with the right attitude and the right people, it’ll always be worth it.
3 Steps to Sobriety in 2018
There is no definitive guide to sobriety – everyone has their own way. But just because the answer is something you must define for yourself does not mean you can’t seek inspiration elsewhere.
From the popular twelve steps of the AA, to self-therapy guides and sober travel books, countless people have told of their best methods towards sobriety. Here are a few general steps towards staying sober for 2018 and beyond.
Commit to Treatment
The first step is always admitting there is a problem, and agreeing to seek help. Treatment facilities exist across the country, with different specializations to help you deal with your addiction in many ways. Some facilities are classic rehab facilities, others focus on a specific type of therapy, or use outdoor activities and other planned initiatives to help local addicts get better.
Find your ideal treatment solution, from sober living homes to residential treatment, and commit to it for the beginning of 2018.
Plan for Relapse
Early on during the process of addiction recovery, it is not uncommon to falter and relapse. However, instead of getting back up on the horse, many people fall prey to an emotional cycle that puts them through the wringer, and leaves them without the motivation to keep going.
Planning for a relapse can not only help you prevent one, but also prepare you for continuing treatment after a relapse. Depending on where you decide to seek treatment, they may provide you with additional resources to help get you ready.
Consider the Long-Term
Addiction treatment is meant to be temporary – after a certain amount of time, your group support meetings and regular therapy sessions will simply turn into lifelong friendships, or irregular calls between two friendly acquaintances.
While addiction may be something you’ll have to tackle with for the rest of your life, it’s not something you must treat professionally forever. Knowing that you’ll eventually be able to transition into a “normal” life can be comforting, but it’s still something you should prepare for.
While 2018 can be the beginning of something amazing in your life, it’s always going to be bigger than just a single year. Sobriety means knowing you’ll have to commit yourself to staying clean for the rest of your life.
During early recovery, this seems like more of an admonition than a blessing, but the further you’ll distance yourself from your addiction days, the more you’ll realize how much better life is when sober.
You won’t get the old you back – but you’ll get the opportunity to come up with a brand new you, and a completely different life. It all starts with a single decision, and a commitment towards a life of better living.