The Five Core Requirements to Becoming and Staying Sober

Posted by | Relapse Prevention, Treatment Programs | April 16, 2015

If you’ve made the decision to get sober, then why not do it all the way? Why not put everything you’ve got into changing your life?  If you’ve made the decision to quit drinking or drug use, why not do it for good?  One way to stick to your commitment to yourself is to learn, learn, learn.

That is, if you really want to get sober and stay sober, then you’ve got to learn the five foundational requirements to making this change in your life. They are listed below:

Behavior

It’s not just any sort of behavior that change requires. Behavior that is both healthy (versus the unhealthy behavior you might have engaged in during your addiction) as well as courageous. For instance, in order to create change, you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to stretch yourself. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about going back to school, forming an intimate relationship, or returning to work, but feel fearful. If you’re feel the desire and feel that you’re ready, don’t let fear stand in your way. You can begin to take the steps you need to break through your protective bubble to create the change you want. Behaving in new ways can create change.

Thinking

Even when you’re no longer using drugs or alcohol, there are still patterns of thought that might have led to the drinking in the first place that are often still in full swing. It’s the reason for a term used among the AA community – the dry drunk. The negative connotation to this phrase comes from the fact that family, friends, and co-workers must still bear the irascibility, arrogance, and destructive behavior of a recovering alcoholic. Although the substance abuse has come to an end, the destructive thinking might still be present. For this reason, changing your thinking can be a pivotal way to change your life.

Awareness

Increasing your awareness by attending therapy, support groups, or 12-step meetings can help you with recognizing your triggers, emotional red flags, cravings, and other risky internal experiences. Awareness can facilitate making the best choices for yourself despite having to face those triggers in your life.

Attitude

According to an online dictionary, an attitude is “a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior”. The attitude we have towards ourselves and our recovery is essential. It can support our path to sobriety or it can derail us. For instance, according to Pathways to Recovery , two important attitudes to have regarding your desire to change is hope and courage. Both hope and courage can bring positive feelings to our recovery and nourish our need to change.

Support

An essential part of life change is staying connecting to a community of people who possess the traits you’re looking for in yourself. For instance, a sober living community is a large fellowship of like-minded recovery addicts who have their eyes on long-term sobriety. In this sort of group, you might hear the personal stories of others who are also struggling and who are also experiencing the same inner challenges of cravings. What’s also beneficial about being in a community is that you might also hear how others are handling their challenges. You can hear the insights and the ways that others are overcoming obstacles in order to stay sober.

Fortunately, the techniques of healing from addiction are becoming more and more standard. When it comes to facilitating change in others, mental health professionals have discovered what works and what doesn’t work. With this in mind, and if you really want to make this great life change, then you can stay close to what works. You can follow the path of sobriety by doing the work and letting recovery work you too.

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