It may seem a bit cruel to say this, but now that you’re sober, the real work has begun.
It may be a shock to the system to read words that imply your likely painful experience in detox is merely the tip of the iceberg. Nevertheless, it’s true—your journey is just beginning.
The Start of a Lifetime
Sobriety and recovery are two completely different things. In fact, though most active addicts tend to assume that simply being sober is enough, it’s only the first step in recovery.
That’s exactly why it is necessary for individuals who have entered a state of sobriety through detox or other means to seek real recovery. It’s also important to strive for a handful of things during the process to keep sanity intact and serenity within reach, among other things. Here are 5 S's you need to learn in order to wholly recover your life.
Now that you’ve achieved sobriety—and you must take a moment to celebrate that—you also need to do the work to stay sober. Typically, this means finding some external support.
It isn’t enough to merely detox and move along with life. Most newly sober individuals seek sober communities, recovery groups and sober living situations. Any or all of the three are great ways to maintain sobriety, especially when new to recovery.
A great deal of dual diagnosis occurs with active addiction. As such, once you are sober, it is necessary to treat or continue managing any dual diagnosis issues. Depression, anxiety and other mood and personality disorders can quickly hinder your sobriety and prevent recovery.
This is why it is necessary to plug yourself into therapy and begin facing any unresolved emotional, psychological and/or spiritual issues. Regardless of the existence of a diagnosis, active addiction and the experiences that accompany it are enough to require emotional recovery. Additionally, it is vital to continue managing any diagnoses requiring medical therapies through the appropriate means suggested by your healthcare provider.
In order to truly solidify recovery, one must learn to love oneself unconditionally. The“unconditionally” part is actually the most difficult.
It’s quite easy to love ourselves when we are achieving our goals and accomplishing our dreams. But what if we’ve been wrapped up in active addiction for so long that we’ve let our dreams and goals pass us by? You might then find it difficult to love yourself, or maybe more accurately, forgive yourself.
But that’s where the self-love stage of successful recovery begins. We must forgive ourselves for who we were in our addiction as we embrace both our current stage in recovery and the person we're striving to become.
A vital piece of successful recovery is spirituality. It is key to a delicate balance that offers us the ultimate goal of inner peace, so it is necessary to find ways to regain a sense of spirituality after achieving sobriety.
Keep in mind, however, that spirituality is not the same as religion. You do not necessarily need to belong to a church or organized religious belief to awaken your spiritual life. Simply striving for spirituality by finding a higher power and seeking the higher self is enough.
Once the aforementioned stages are achieved and remain a part of daily existence, serenity, or a newfound sense of inner peace, is not only a possibility. It is guaranteed. And, for the record, once serenity is accomplished, relapse in thinking or behavior is no longer necessary. You simply evolve.
And now that you’ve taken the first and most vital step, let your journey begin.