Some recovering addicts might not have had a choice about getting sober. Perhaps they were legally required to do so after a drunk driving accident. Perhaps they were required by the courts or they wouldn’t get their children returned home. Or maybe a spouse threatened to leave if they did not get sober. There are many situations in which a person might have needed to get sober but yet a part of them wasn’t ready to. A part of them would have chosen to continue to drink and use drugs.
When someone is forced into sober living, staying sober may or may not be successful. Not having the inner motivation to get sober is frequently an obstacle. Furthermore, when a person has many friends who are also drinkers and users of drugs and with whom they’ve created fun memories, it might be hard to let go of the glamour of drinking and drug use. In fact, research has shown that this is actually one of the obstacles to sober living. Those in recovery but who are still identified with the romance of drinking can more frequently relapse.
So, how does a person make the most of sober living? If he or she needs to get sober for a marriage, career, or the children, then there might not be any choice in the matter. How can a person enjoy the sober life? How can you make the most of the experience? Below are some suggestions:
- Create a new community of friends. One of the greatest components to building a new life is choosing a new community of friends to spend time with. Whereas before you might have been spending time with those who enjoy drinking and using drugs, your life can be filled with friends who do not need drugs or alcohol in their life. You might choose to spend time in a community of people who are also in recovery or with those whose lives were never affected by addiction.
- Find a hobby. Find something that challenges you. Perhaps you want to expand your creativity, explore your imagination, or try something you’ve never done but have always wanted to do.
- Volunteer. Another way to experience meaning in life is to volunteer at organizations that create social change. You might become active in your church or faith community, or join a local book club or neighborhood running group.
- Set meaningful goals. Having goals to work toward and something to look forward to can be powerful antidotes to drug addiction. It doesn’t matter what the goals are—whether they involve your career, your personal life, or your health—just that they are important to you.
- Look after your health. Regular exercise, sleep, and healthy eating can keep your energy levels high and it can help avoid stress. When you’re body is feeling good, it’s easier to say no to drugs.
Getting sober is not easy. And it’s likely harder on someone who didn’t choose to get sober themselves. However, sober living is possible for those who have a community of support, a reason to stay sober, and the commitment to do so for a greater cause.
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