10 Tips to Stay Sober
1. GET HELP!
How many times have you
said "I'm done, I'm never using again, I mean it this time, No more, It's
not worth it" etc. etc. and when you said it u REALLY meant it? You’re
not the only one! We all do it;
including me! Even with the best intentions I always failed. I swore up and
down I was never going to use again and I really MEANT IT! I hated who I was and the things I was
doing. Even with the most sincere desire
to change I failed time after time after time.
It took me a looong time to realize it was more powerful than me. I
needed help. Help is out there why not take advantage of it! Remember, IT TAKES
A STRONG PERSON TO ASK FOR HELP. IT IS NOT A SIGN OF WEAKNESS!
2. BE SELFISH!
What I mean here is you
have to be selfish about your recovery. Your recovery must come first before
your job, your family, your kids, your pets, your hobbies, your favorite sports team, money, whatever. It is a fact that whatever you put before
your recovery you will lose. It's only a matter of time! When I decided to make a change, I made
recovery my number one priority!
Everything else will fall into place if you focus on that one thing just
3. CHANGE YOUR PHONE
It sounds like a pain in
the neck. Believe me, it's a relief!
This will help to cut ties with negative influences and focus on getting
better. Lose all the old numbers and
start fresh. Guard your number with your
life and only give it to your necessary support group and whoever is absolutely
necessary. This is a huge step in
changing PEOPLE, PLACES AND THINGS you hear about so much. This was huge for
me! Especially in early recovery when I was the must vulnerable to relapse. Why
not eliminate that unnecessary temptation. Try it. It works!
4. AVOID HIGH RISK
If you had a potentially
fatal allergy to peanuts would you plan a trip to a peanut factory this
weekend? No way! Well, we addicts have a potentially fatal allergy to drugs and
alcohol. When I got sober I stayed away
from bars. I didn’t even give myself the
opportunity to make a bad decision. It was around the Fourth of July when I was
getting clean so I skipped a Fourth of July barbecue where I would normally
party. My brother in law was getting married around that time so I even skipped
the bachelor party! It goes along with
step 2. BE SELFISH! I avoided high risk situations at all costs! Even if it
meant hurting someone’s feelings. Saving
my life was more important. That's the bottom line.
5. STAY IN THE MOMENT!
Tomorrows a mystery! Don't beat yourself up about things that happened in the
past and don't think into the future. Focus on one day, even one hour at a
time! One thing that always screwed me
before I even started was I would always think "never again for the rest
of my life am I going to have a beer. Yeah right". I was defeated before I even started because
that seemed impossible at the time! That's ridiculous! One day sounds much more reasonable right? As
far as the past, the guilt and the shame I had from using would drive me to use
again. STUPID! Focus on doing what you
have to do to stay clean Just For Today. You'll be amazed at how everything
else works itself out.
6. STAY BUSY!
We all know what happens
when we sit around bored and thinking too long. We use! Try to occupy as much
time as possible by working, making meetings, hanging with sober friends and
family, calling people who support your recovery, healthy hobbies. There are so
many fun things to do sober. I remember
playing softball when I got sober. I never laughed so hard and had so much fun
in my life. It sounds stupid I know. I never did anything sober. I forgot what
it was like to have fun. Get your life
back and have fun with it. IT'S WORTH IT!
7. TAKE SUGGESTIONS!
I am one of the most
stubborn people out there believe me. I
thought I had all the answers. It wasn't until I stopped being a know it all
and listened to some suggestions from other recovering addicts that I got better.
Sometimes the simplest things can make
all the difference in the world. Who better to learn from that someone who got
clean! I was stupid not to listen years ago but I was going to do it my way or
the highway. Let me save you some time. Doing it your way won't work! Take some
advice and try to find what works for you and you'll be so happy you did.
8. STOP CARING WHAT PEOPLE
Who cares! I always would
be so worried what people thought that it screwed my recovery up. I remember
going to meetings and being so afraid to raise my hand and talk. Did I sound stupid? I don't fit in here. They
all got their clicks. I'm like the outcast. I call it a case of the toos. I’m
too cool, they’re too young, he's too screwed up, she's too loud etc. etc. I
always focused on everyone else but ME! How can you ever get better like that?
Or even outside meetings. I'll look lame if I don't have a beer at the wedding.
I quit drinking. What will they think if I go to rehab? WHHHOOO CAAARREES WHAT
PEOPLE THINK! Do you want to live or die?
Do you want to keep suffering to look cool? STUPID! Get better. Do it
for you. WHO CARES!
9. MAKE MEETINGS!
How can a bunch of drug
addicts and alcoholics who have no clue who I am help me? I used to say that
all the time and was unwilling for the longest time to give in to going to
meetings. It's a proven system for recovery! Go to a meeting and its amazing
how much better you feel when you come out. It's unbelievable and believe me I
am the last person to admit this! One of
the biggest things it did for me is it kept my eyes on the prize so to speak.
Hearing the stories and talking to people who have a lot of clean time made me
able to remember how bad it was and how good life can be sober. I wasn't
successful in recovery until I gave into going to the meetings. My suggestion
would be to make 1 meeting a day especially for a while at first. You'll meet
great people and learn so much about yourself and recovery.
10. IF YOU MESS UP TRY AGAIN!
Working a program of
recovery is about practice, not perfection. I by no means work the perfect
program but I have been able to learn from my mistakes and try again using that
new knowledge to my advantage. The reason I am able to right 10 tips on staying
sober is because I have failed at each one of these and learned from them.
Relapse DOES NOT have to be part of your story. Hopefully you can take these
suggestions I have laid out and use them to your advantage. If you mess up TRY
AGAIN! One time it will click and you will get your life back.