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May 15, 2021

Staying Sober in The Toughest of Times

Even though the desire might feel overwhelming, it is possible to stay sober during tough times.

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May 15, 2021

Sobriety is a huge accomplishment, and succeeding in recovery is more impressive. Of course, it is easier to remain sober when everything is normal, but what about when the going gets tough? This can make it more challenging to stay sober. It is natural for us to respond irrationally and emotionally when the going gets tough. We may also be tempted to use our substance, especially during recovery. Even though the desire might feel overwhelming, it is possible to stay sober during tough times.

Substances prevent us from feeling our pain or emotions or dealing with stress. However, reverting to our old ways can make things even worse. It is essential that we increase our efforts to maintain our soberness, especially during hard times. Remaining grounded to our new habits like a detox is crucial to ensuring we remain in the present. We can use all means possible to deal with our stress rather than going back to old habits.  Here are some tips on staying sober during hard times.

Reaching Out

This is one of the most crucial step we can take in dealing with an addiction. It is often the most difficult, especially for newly sober people. Reaching out for help during tough times gives us a perspective on our situations and brings a more objective party into the issue. The chance to connect with another person who has gone through similar issues or an expert can offer us invaluable insight.

Redirecting Attention

Redirecting our attention is an essential point in maintaining soberness. Stepping out of our world into someone else’s with no conditions and listening to their problems can help feel helpful. The main purpose should be to try to help them with their recovery or detox process and, in doing so, redirecting attention from your issues.

Reframing Perspective

Sometimes when we are faced with problems, we tend to catastrophize things. It is common that we default to viewing life situations in a negative light. Reframing the way we look at things and shedding a positive light on our problems can go a long way. Although this may be challenging, it helps to view problems and setbacks as temporary situations and opportunities to grow stronger.

Recognizing What You Can Do

We must accept that there are things we cannot control. Addiction makes us feel the need to control everything happening in our lives and eventually despair into believing there is nothing we can change. This is a common issue that most of us struggle with. Finding the balance between wanting to control everything and believing we can’t change anything is not easy.

Reaching out for help to recognize what’s within our power and what’s not can help us find some balance. It is essential that we take action in changing something that is within our power. After trying and not still not getting satisfaction from solving the issues, the best thing is to let go. Letting go of things out of our control is challenging but reaching out makes it easier.

Preventing Relapse

Tough times can trigger our habitual response to escape from pain or numb the pain. Recovery teaches us to approach stress differently and methods to rewire our brain processes stressors. The skills we learn can help maintain our soberness during tough times. Stress is a powerful trigger that increases our chances of relapse. To avoid going back to our old ways, we need to be proactive.

When the going gets tough, and we are faced with stress, it is crucial that we respond positively by using tools to avoid relapsing and improving our self-care.

Staying Mindful

Staying mindful is a powerful tool that we can use to maintain our sobriety during tough times. Although we may be compelled to find ways to escape stress, remaining in the present can ground our recovery path. It can also increase our ability to control our minds and our desires and allow us to continue to choose our recovery.

Practicing mindfulness every day during hard times can help us stay sober. Exercising our body and brain using yoga and mindful meditation creates calmness and peace in our daily life. This will help in preparing us to face even bigger problems in life. When we practice mindfulness every day, our brain becomes better and stronger at grounding us to the present.

Being Kind to Oneself

During most times when we face anxiety, fear, and other stressors, we may be so hard on ourselves. Tough times may make us forget to be kind to ourselves and take proper care of our mental and physical well-being. It is essential that we practice daily self-care and be gentle with ourselves.  When we are under stress, our urges and cravings are usually stronger than usual, but we mustn’t beat ourselves up.

We should aim at giving ourselves credit for not acting upon our cravings and allowing the craving to pass. We should also commend ourselves more often for our efforts at remaining sober when faced with tough times.

Staying Strong

When faced with stressful times, recovery is a choice that needs to be backed up by our actions. This will help us stay strong and grounded and actively use our tools and skills to avoid relapsing to our substance use. Making a choice to practice mindfulness daily will prepare us for tough times.

Schedule Appointments

Managing our time and being intentional about how we spend is vital in maintaining our soberness. When the going gets tough, we can think about things we can do to help us feel better by focusing on positive things. When we schedule appointments is beneficial since it gives direction on what to do from day today.

After making the appointments, we must follow them through. Managing our schedules and time will help keep our important engagements, such as going for an AA meeting or meeting your counselor. We should strive to commit even when our energy levels and current emotions are negative. However, we may rest and take time when we are feeling overwhelmed and opt to rest rather than forcing ourselves to go out. Spending time with sober friends, attending counseling, and taking time alone for personal reflection will help us in the long run.

Meet with a Counselor

Scheduling time to meet with a counselor gives us our chance to talk about our challenges. It also allows us to face troubled feelings and give suggestions on how to get through hard times sober. Our time is precious, and we should be careful how we spend it. Being selfish with our time and protecting our soberness by taking care of ourselves. Professional counselors are qualified and equipped with knowledge and skills that can help us overcome a wide range of issues.

Identify Triggers

Triggers can be places, people, situations, and things that elicit cravings or thoughts associated with substance use. Identifying our biggest triggers can help us to prepare for them or avoid them. Stress is one of the biggest triggers for most people. It can come from relationship troubles, emotional distress, job or financial problems. Other triggers can be environmental cues that result in cravings.

Recognize Relapse Warning Signs

Failing to recognize warning signs can lead to relapse. It has three phases, including emotional, mental, and physical relapse. This means that a relapse can happen even before picking the glass of alcohol.  Early warning signs of relapse include:

• Thinking less rationally and behaving less responsibly

• Addictive thinking patterns

• Seeking situations and place with people who use alcohol and drugs

• Looking for an escape from pain

Stay Cool

Failing to control our anger can have a negative impact on our soberness and our health in general. Anger is normal, and everyone gets angry but learning how to deal with it can affect your recovery. Anger management, especially when stressed out, can help us to remain calm and avoid irrational behavior. A counselor, friends, or family members can help us to learn how to deal with anger.

Dealing with Past Mistakes

Unfortunately, we may have made some mistakes during our addiction that might have caused a lot of pain. We may end up feeling shameful and guilty during our recovery, which is natural. Guilt brings negative emotions about our past behavior, while shame affects our self-worth. These emotions can become overwhelming and affect our soberness by tempting us to relapse. We must take the appropriate steps to learn from our past mistakes and live in the present.

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