It’s Not Too Late: How to Find Success with Getting Sober in 2017
Photo courtesy of Unsplash by Jenni Peterson
This time of year, we are surrounded by people making New Year’s Resolutions, promising to improve their lives in big ways over the next twelve months. It seems like every other ad on television is talking about a “new year, new you.” These words have so much meaning to those who are struggling to end their addictions and stay sober.
If you (or a loved one) are struggling to get sober, here are some tips for how to move forward with addiction recovery this year:
As difficult and cliche’ as this might sound right now, staying positive truly is one of the best gifts you will ever give yourself during your journey to sobriety. You will be challenged in many ways this year, and having a positive mindset will help you overcome those challenges and recover from your addictions.
Work the Twelve Steps
Although there are certainly alternatives out there, twelve step programs have been the leading addiction recovery method for over 75 years – and with good reason. Rather than being about stopping drug use or alcohol abuse, twelve step programs focus instead on the underlying feelings that cause addiction in the first place. These programs help addicts rebuild new lives where they are ultimately happier and fulfilled. As a result, they don’t feel as tempted to use drugs and alcohol anymore.
Interpersonal relationships are key to anyone in addiction recovery. These don’t have to be relationships with your family, but they could be relationships with a friend, loved one, spouse, or even your AA sponsor.
In addition to rehabilitation and twelve step programs, your addiction recovery this year should also include therapy. For maximum benefit, you should specifically find a therapist who specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT teaches your brain healthier responses to situations which would normally tempt you to use drugs or alcohol.
Take Up Yoga and Meditation
Yes, really. Although alternative healing practices should only be done in conjunction with a twelve step program (rather than as a substitute), this can be an excellent way to calm your mind, reduce anxiety and depression, and resist the urges to relapse. Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, and other holistic healing methods can be helpful for those in recovery. Yoga in particular can be helpful in regulating cortisol and adrenaline, which are two stress hormones that can tempt us to relapse during the recovery process.
If You Relapse…
Even for the strongest person who is in addiction recovery for drugs and/or alcohol, relapse is always a very real possibility. It doesn’t mean that you’re any less worthy of a person, and it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a lifetime of addiction. Relapse just means that you might need to seek help from some additional resources.
If you feel tempted to relapse, seek help from a trained professional immediately. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s not worth gambling with your life. There may be options for you that will make your road to recovery easier, and help guarantee a successful outcome. Who knows? Maybe one day, you’ll be the one helping someone else in his or her journey to come clean and sober…