Drinking alcohol is a legal and popular pastime in the United States and around the world. Alcohol, it seems, is everywhere — from your favorite restaurant to the fridge in your brother’s house, learning to fit in and feel comfortable in a pro-alcohol society is essential for the recovering alcoholic. Although living a sober lifestyle inside of rehab is difficult, sustaining a lifelong commitment to abstinence in the world outside residential care presents its own challenges. Here is how you can learn to enjoy your sobriety, rather than grudgingly enduring it.
Committing Fully to a New Lifestyle
Removing yourself from the constant presence and easy availability of alcohol is a major benefit of committing to sobriety at our residential alcohol addiction treatment program. As you gain strength and heal emotionally, the desire to use may continue, but the temptation to relapse is minimized inside rehab. In the world outside residential care, temptation is everywhere. Committing fully to a sober lifestyle means learning to enjoy being sober in a world filled with people, and often loved ones, drinking alcohol.
Making Social Changes
Avoiding the people and situations that typically precede self-destructive behavior is essential for maintaining a commitment to abstinence. For many people addicted to alcohol but currently in recovery, that may mean cultivating new friendships with people who do not spend time in bars or drinking heavily. Avoiding old places where relapsing is likely — such as sporting events and parties where drinking is the main activity — is also important. The good news is that changing your social life to revolve around healthier activities does not have to be as challenging as it sounds!
Think back to the activities you once loved before drinking defined your lifestyle. Perhaps golf is an old passion. Maybe you spent hours playing tennis, visiting art museums, or reading. Now is the perfect time to distract yourself with the activities that will improve your mood and keep your mind off alcohol. Sign up for cooking classes, join a book club at your local library, or try a new activity that has always sounded appealing. Developing new relationships with people who share your interests but do not drink to excess will make it easier to stay on the path to a complete recovery.
Using Your Recovery Resources
Another tip: don’t forget that you are not alone. Your community is filled with people who understand exactly what you are going through and who are ready to lend an ear or a helping hand. Join a local recovery group, and stay in touch with the staff at Clarity Way.