By Jennifer McDougall
Getting sober is one of the bravest and at times a very challenging journey. In the early days of sobriety, many people may feel uncomfortable when being invited out, at social events, coping with triggering events, telling people they no longer drink, in intimate settings, or while being present in a scenario where there may be drugs or alcohol being offered. Taking an honest look at potential situations that could test your sobriety is an important task while ensuring you have a plan and feel prepared to take on any challenge that comes your way.
Getting sober is one thing; staying sober is another. Your new drug and alcohol-free lifestyle will require you to put your foot down more often, feeling confident when saying, “No” and having no guilt in declining offers to participate in risky behavior that could lead to relapse. It is understandable the struggle that many people face in newfound sobriety during an epidemic of alcohol addiction and drug abuse– the temptation when life throws you a curveball or when you’ve had a tough day. These are still no excuses to go back to your old ways.
Practicing new and healthy coping mechanisms is an essential component in maintaining stability and strength building techniques for lasting sobriety. Here are 7 common challenges people experience in early sobriety.
- BOREDOM. Finding things can do may seem challenging in the early stages of sobriety. Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of 30 fun things you can do alone or with friends and family to enjoy sober.
- SAYING NO TO PEER PRESSURE. Often times when a person gets sober it can feel difficult dealing with pressure from others to join them in drinking or using drugs. One thing to remember is that this is an opportunity to be reminded that you need to focus on your sober journey. If you are surrounded by people who do not support your sobriety, it’s time to find yourself a new group of friends. Anyone who continues to pressure you into using isn’t someone you need in your life.
- DATING. Whether it is a new relationship or someone you have been seeing for a while, it’s important to be clear to them that you are sober. If it is the first date and you don’t feel comfortable discussing why you got sober, etc it’s okay to just have a non-alcoholic beverage, tell him/her that you don’t drink, and move on to asking questions about the other person. This way it takes the pressure off you while you continue to be true to your sobriety and get to know the person you’re out with. Another aspect is keeping a watch on co-dependency behavior. Read: The Connection Between Codependent Relationships and Addiction
- Coping with emotions. Long-term drug and alcohol abuse cause damage to the brain and other bodily organs. You may experience emotions that you haven’t felt in many years and could feel overwhelming at times. These emotions commonly include anger, sadness, and irritation. As you begin rebalancing your mind, body, and spirit through holistic healing and healthy coping techniques such as yoga, meditation, massage therapy, psychotherapy, and physical fitness training, you will gain strength to get through difficulties that arise more easily.
- Increased energy and insomnia. Trouble sleeping is common in many people who are in early recovery from substance abuse related issues. Without medicating yourself, there are many healthy remedies to get a good night sleep such as exercise, journaling, essential oils, and creating a calm atmosphere. Read: 5 Things to do Before Bed to Get the Best Sleep of Your Life
- Managing stress. One of the best ways to manage stress is to maintain a healthy diet, exercise, and breathing techniques. Many people find comfort and peace when connecting to creative outlets such as photography, writing, painting, sculpturing, or gardening. Read: The Best 5 Ways to Reduce Stress From Your Life Today
- Financial setbacks. Budging your finances is important no matter if the money is flowing in or if you’ve recently experienced a setback. Impulse buying or retail therapy is a common and unhealthy coping mechanism for people in early recovery. Be mindful of your sudden urges to buy a new outfit or big purchase that you either don’t need or is out of your current budget.
How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:
Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.