Throughout our lives we have developed many habits, a mixture of good and not-so-good. Some of us have acquired more bad habits than we know what to do with. It’s not that we were bad people, we just made unhealthy choices that lead us into a downward spiral of unfortunate circumstance or even death. By being alive today, we are among the lucky ones. We have been given an opportunity to change our lives by simply making better choices. Choices that will turn into healthy habits and shape our future.
If you are new to sobriety, I want to first let you know that you are not alone. 1 in 10 U.S adults have at some point pursued help for their addiction. It works if you work it and it can work for you too. Here are some habits that hurt sobriety and what you can do to begin the ultimate change.
This one is especially important in the beginning of recovery. Triggers are people, places, or things that we have in some way connected to using.
People – People who we have used with or who encourage using, or people who will bring about negative feelings and potentially put us at risk of relapse.
Places – Places that we have or would go to use (e.g. a using friend’s house, a bar, a party etc.).
Things -Things that remind us of using. (e.g. smoking, booze-branded clothing, activities we have paired with using).
Find a Positive Stress Reliever
You may have heard the term HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired). This acronym is use to describe things that we may be feeling which act as a trigger. We all fall victim of one of these often enough. When we are not, what addicts call, spiritually fit we enter a dangerous territory for our sobriety. Some good things that can be done to avoid these situations are:
- Eat Properly
- Practice Love and Tolerance Toward Others
- Learn to Enjoy your Own Company
- Get Sleep!
- Build Healthy Relationships
Surround Yourself with Healthy People
Changing the people we surround ourselves with can be unimaginable for many people new to recovery. We often think that these people really care about our well-being, and that may very well be, but reality is, most often those people were really just using buddies. Once we have stopped attending using events with them, they will stop calling. The good thing is, we now have room for healthy people!
Surrounding ourselves with healthy sober people is crucial in the beginning stages of recovery. For many of us, it has been quite a long time since we really enjoyed being sober. We must learn from others how to live our lives sober. Not to mention that these people are actively trying to live better lives and also build healthier relationships. How bad would it be if this behavior rubbed off on us a little?
Be Honest and Open
In our addictions we became the ultimate liars, we had to in order to keep using. The problem is, that when we are constantly lying, we start to believe the lies ourselves and basically forget who are. We became chameleons and put on a face that would fit in with who we surrounded ourselves with. We only had one goal: to escape. We needed to escape the reality that we disliked ourselves, that others didn’t like us, or to escape from the awful lives that we had created for ourselves.
In order for sobriety to stick, we have to be honest and open with the people in our lives, to really lay everything out on the table and be ourselves. The best thing about this in recovery is that there is always someone who has done the same thing and probably worse. It is truly amazing that a room full of recovering addicts can get together and laugh about the bad choices that we have made and learn from each other’s mistakes. Once we break down that wall and let another person see who we really are the hardest part is over. We can then begin the rebuilding process.
Many addicts will say that they are grateful for their addiction. They are grateful because their addiction gave them an opportunity to change their life! Although the path to recovery is based on very simple steps it can be the hardest thing to do. Don’t let that stop you. Anything worth having, is worth fighting for!
The Other Side
93 E Berkshire Dr, Unit G
Crystal Lake IL 60014