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Three Important Truths of Sobriety

Sobriety means freedom: freedom from feeling hungover or sick and freedom from the oppressive need to find more drugs or alcohol. Even though freedom is, well, freeing, it still takes a fight to achieve it.

There are plenty of surprises that go along with sobriety; many of them are small, meaningful realizations that bring depth to the process. Seeing the big picture of a sober lifestyle is even more important for making it through those uncomfortable surprises that ruin perfectly good days. Take the following three truths of sobriety — they’re prime examples of the complex but beautiful impacts of a sober life.

  1. Sobriety Brings on Better Personality Traits

Three Important Truths of Sobriety

Sobriety gives you the ability to “feel” and become a better friend

It’s not that a person changes into someone else when he gets sober, it’s that he finds out more about himself. Addiction happens for a variety of reasons, but some people are more likely to develop an addiction when they want to blunt stress or trauma. Using substances to hide from life makes it impossible to be introspective and inspect the reasons behind decisions and actions.

In a blog post about the lessons she learned while sober, Kendra Senn writes that she experienced emotions again after she stopped drinking. At first, she hardly knew how to identify her feelings; she wasn’t sure if she was hungry or hurt. Over time, she learned ways to handle the painful emotions (by writing in a journal or going for a run) and rejoiced that she could feel positive emotions like happiness. This ability to feel helped her become a better friend and helped her found her own business.[1]

  1. Sobriety Isn’t a Reset Button

Getting sober doesn’t mean everything goes back to the way it was. Lives are changed forever by addiction. Just because people have experienced the consequences of addiction doesn’t mean it has to define all their future actions. So, while some people may not be able to forgive the past, other people will. Plus, staying sober gives recovering addicts the chance to meet new people and form authentic relationships. Sobriety also offers new opportunities; job training for a different field, hobbies that enhance personal satisfaction and spiritual journeys that offer comfort and peace. So even though sobriety doesn’t reset life, it offers the chance to keep playing, just on a higher level.

A person who once struggled with addiction may find old thoughts intruding at unpredictable times. Thoughts about substance use may be below the awareness of conscious thought. For example, a reluctance to make plans for the weekend could lead to drinking in a bar if the impulse isn’t fully handled in the moment. To stop urges to use in their tracks, it’s important to recognize them as they occur and stop them. Some people find it helpful to distract themselves with an activity, call a supportive person to talk about the thoughts, or meditate briefly to take the thoughts in a more positive direction.[2]

  1. Sobriety Requires Regular Re-Invention

People grow and change over time, especially a person who goes from an addictive lifestyle to a sober lifestyle. So, the kick in the pants that prompts a person to get help and get sober isn’t going to be the same motivation that keeps that person sober. A person needs to build a healthy lifestyle to overcome old habits and build self-esteem. A peer network focused on recovery dramatically improves a person’s chances of sticking with the new lifestyle. These groups decrease social isolation and offer hope.[3]

As part of the reinvention process recovering addicts should self-identify as people in recovery. Recovery changes over time, but accepting the act of being in recovery keeps recovering addicts in touch with the reality of the disease. While around other people who self-identify as recovering addicts, a person feels less shame and stigma. Spending time with others in recovery also teaches a person new skills. Running alone, for example, may give one person needed time to plan his day and prepare for challenges, while group training for a marathon gives another person friends who participate in fun, sober activities.3

Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment?

People fight and beat addiction every day. As researchers learn more effective treatments, the outcomes for addiction continue to improve. Learning ways to manage the disease over a lifetime is crucial. There are many techniques proven to make a difference, the final element is making the strategies personal.

If you or a loved one needs help finding addiction treatment, call our admissions coordinators today. We answer questions seven days a week, 24 hours a day to give family members, friends and individuals the necessary information to get well. Reach out today and learn ways to treat addiction and addictive behaviors.


 

[1] Senn, Kendra. (2016). 4 Life-Altering Truths I Learned After 3 Years Of Being Sober. Elite Daily. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2016 from http://elitedaily.com/life/truths-learned-being-sober/1338465/.

[2] National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Core Sessions: Managing Thoughts about Alcohol and Drinking. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2016 from http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/MATCHSeries3/core.htm#3.

[3] Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (2005). Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 41. Retrieved Feb. 21, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64224/?report=reader