Struggling with an addiction can be embarrassing and hard to cope with, but it doesn’t have to be! Here’s a few tips on how to become and stay clean and sober.
You’ve stopped using. Now what?
Getting clean and sober may be the hardest thing you have ever had to do, but the truth is, it’s just the start. You now have the rest of your life to get through.
The statistics are grim, so many go back to using, and you want to beat the odds. Where and how do you start?
Read on for practical tips for getting and staying clean and sober.
Seek Clean and Sober Treatment
One of the biggest mistakes newly clean addicts make is thinking they can do it alone. The exact opposite is true.
Those who stay clean and sober usually have very strong support systems. There are many different ways to find that support.
Especially if you are just getting clean and sober, you may want to consider inpatient rehabilitation. Checking into a facility can help you get a little bit of time sober under your belt before you go out and face the real world with all of its temptations.
At the very least, get yourself into a 12 step program where you can find access to a sponsor, a recovery coach, and other mentors. Over time, behavioral therapy will help you to unravel the unhealthy thinking that is part of your disease. Many people find comfort in learning about and working the 12 steps.
Alcoholics Anonymous has many resources for the newly sober. They have local chapters in nearly every city in America. Narcotics Anonymous also offers twelve-step programs for those who have been affected by other substances. Find a meeting, and start working those steps!
Addicts are notorious for not taking responsibility for their actions. One of the most important parts of being clean and sober and staying that way is owning up to your past behaviors and the chaos you may have caused for others. Now is the time to accept what you have done and aim to improve relationships.
Becoming accountable is a powerful way to show yourself and those around you that you have truly changed. Stop pitying yourself, realize that no one on this planet is without a struggle. Stop making excuses for why you don’t measure up and be resolved to do better next time.
Join a Support Group
Let’s face it, most people are not addicts, so they cannot fully understand what you are going through. One of the things that keeps many from staying sober is feeling isolated and misunderstood.
Support groups go a long way in helping a recovering addict feel less alone. Talking with people who are facing the same struggles you are is very comforting.
Support groups allow you to show yourself and express your feelings without being ashamed. You can also listen to those who are farther along in their recovery and learn how to avoid triggers and maintain sobriety through the examples they share.
There is nothing more comforting than being a part of a community that understands and accepts you for who you are, especially for an addict who is newly clean and sober.
Embrace New Activities
Getting clean and sober is about more than just quitting the substance. It is about replacing the negativity that the addiction brought into your life with light and positivity.
Most people who are active in their addiction, spend about the same time using as they would at a full-time job. Now that you have quit, chances are, you have a lot of time on your hands.
You have to fill those extra hours somehow, it might as well be with activities that will help you grow as a person and be stronger in your sobriety. Being addicted to a harmful substance is extremely isolating.
First of all, ditch your old toxic friends and activities. You need new people to hang out with, not ones who will enable you or continually remind you of your failures.
Join a gym. You can lift weights and do cardio, or take a yoga or pilates class. Taking a spin class is another great way to burn off some of that excess energy. Exercise is an effective means of getting stuck energy moving, improving your health, and creating endorphins (natural high)!
There are many other great ways to improve your health while trying new things.
Use Multiple Healing Methods
Getting and staying clean and sober is a total body approach. You must heal not only the body but the mind and spirit as well.
You became an addict because you were not practicing self-love. Now is the time to embrace and accept yourself where you are at so you can make progress.
Meditation is an excellent way to get to know the inner you. Start off with short periods of silence and increase the amount of time you spend as you become more comfortable.
Do not seek to quiet your inner chatter. Simply acknowledge the thoughts that come, honor them, and then let them go.
The longer you stay committed to your meditation practice, the easier it will become to stay in the moment. Certain crystals can also be held or worn to reduce anxiety and help focus.
Another way to speed up healing and detox is by taking supplements. Milk thistle, green tea, and apple cider vinegar are all cheap and readily available ways to safely detox your liver.
Detox baths are also extremely relaxing and can replace minerals that were lost while using. Dried ginger powder in very hot water will help you sweat those old toxins out and dead sea salt will nourish your body, giving you minerals that keep you in optimal health.
Depression is also a common side effect of getting sober. Magnesium, vitamin D, and Spirulina all have powerful effects on the mood. Taken together, they are much more effective than anything you will get from your Doctor.
Getting clean and sober is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and physical health. Addicts live shorter and considerably less happy lives than those who are sober.
For quality of life, sobriety is best.
Find a good support system and protect your spirit, and you can beat the odds.
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