If you are looking for an addiction treatment method that works, it’s hard to find one with a better track record than Alcoholics Anonymous and its sister program Narcotics Anonymous. One of the core tenants of these programs is the concept of a “higher power.” While many newly recovering addicts and alcoholics may be put off by spiritual nature of this tenant, a higher power does not have to be a god or a religious figure. Your higher power can be the collective consciousness, a person you look up to, or even an idealized version of yourself. It doesn’t matter what you consider to be your higher power. If it works for you, then it’s something that will make your sober recovery easier.
That’s because your higher power essentially serves as a reason to become better. It’s an idea, an abstract concept, or an entity that you use to find meaning, set a standard for your actions, and a goal to work towards throughout your recovery. In a lot of ways, addiction can be a low-level search for meaning, or way to make us feel better. Unfortunately, addiction does just the opposite. It can make us feel lost, and overtime it will slowly destroy our moral standards. Rebuilding those standards is the first step to taking back control of our lives.
If you want to overcome addiction, you need to start working towards a sober recovery now. It’s not uncommon to have some hesitation during recovery. Working towards sobriety is a major lifestyle change, but it’s a healthy, beneficial one. Checking yourself into a rehab or working in a 12-step program can quite literally save your life, and putting off making that change will only allow addiction to take an even deeper hold on you. The sooner you can open your mind and accept that you a sober recovery will help you, the sooner you can start changing your life for the better.
The journey towards a sober recovery isn’t one that you need to travel alone. In fact, going it alone leaves a lot more room for failure. One of the best things a recovering addict can do for themselves is putting together a sober support system. So, what is a sober support system?
A sober support system is a group of people that you know and trust that will support you throughout your recovery. This group can be made up of family members, friends, or even an AA or NA home group. It doesn’t matter who you have in your support system as long as you can talk openly with them and they are people that genuinely care about you. Your support system will give you a place to turn to when you are having trouble staying sober, or when you need a level of accountability. Having people that will be disappointed when you relapse may just be the extra level of protection that makes you reconsider using during those moments of temptation.
While treatment isn’t easy, it is definitely easier than staying sober once you leave your inpatient facility. Environment plays a large role in your sober recovery. Certain places and people can remind you of your substance abuse and trigger cravings for drugs and alcohol. For most people, this will be a common occurrence when they first leave addiction treatment. That’s why it’s important to know how you are going to combat those triggers once you return to your everyday life.
The good news is that there are a lot of resources available to people in recovery all over the world. You can start seeing a counselor or going to AA and NA meetings. You can even start a regular outpatient program with the treatment center that helped you get sober in the first place. Whatever you decide to do, you need to put some form of plan in place to help you overcome the moments when it’s harder to remember why you start your sober recovery in the first place.
We touched on it earlier, but it is normal to feel a bit hesitant at the start of your sober recovery. Generally, people going through treatment for the first time feel a bit untrusting of the addiction specialists and counselors that are trying to help them. This is because substance abuse can make it hard to trust other people. Most addicts have been lying to friends or family for a long time before they start treatment, and with those lies comes an inherent distrust of others. Alternatively, no one enjoys being told how they should live their life, and that’s generally what addiction treatment specialists are trying to do. They want to show you how to live a better life.
While it’s normal to go into treatment with a level of distrust and hesitation, it is important that you trust the people treating your addiction. It’s important that you believe in the process and give it your all. You need to participate, to share during counseling sessions. If you aren’t trying your hardest, how can you expect to get the best results out of your treatment? The simple answer is that you can’t. If addiction treatment is going to work, if you are going to be successful in your sober recovery, you need to take and follow advice. You need to put every bit of effort you can into working towards a better way of living. Every single one of us has the potential to be great people that do great things. One of the worst parts about addiction is the waste of potential that comes out of substance abuse. Don’t let addiction ruin the amazing person that you are capable of being. Trust your treatment. Trust the process. If you can let yourself change and grow into a better person, then the results will present themselves in a successful sober recovery.