Changing your life is never easy. When you’re on the other side of it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived the way you did in the past. But getting to that point, however, can be difficult. That’s why most professionals agree that it’s essential to have a plan, to know what’s going to slip you up, and how to work with those triggers when you’re faced with them. If your goal is sobriety, then essentially you’ve got to set up your life so that all your choices, behaviors, and thoughts are aligned with staying sober.
Because up until now your choices, behaviors, and thoughts were probably aligned with using drugs or drinking, then you might see that having a solid plan to help you through this life change is going to be crucial. The following are tips that can help you create a plan that has worked well for most people. As you read, you might see why and how the following tips will be useful as you point your whole life in the direction of sobriety.
1. Get to Know Your Triggers
- The first part of sobriety is getting to know what your triggers are. Essentially, you’re learning and identifying those circumstances, places, or people that are going to trip you up a bit. And the reason why this is important is because triggers are not the same for everyone. You might be triggered whenever you drive over a certain bridge because when you were younger you and your friends used to get high underneath the bridge before school. Your triggers are going to be unique to you. But there are also some common triggers like walking by a bar, seeing someone who is drunk or high, getting paid, the end of a long day, and having an argument with someone. So, step one is identify the triggers that jeopardize sobriety or your sense of well being.
2. Challenges That Are Ahead
A very close second step is getting to know the challenges that are ahead. If you’re at the beginning of your recovery, recognize that you’re going to have triggers, cravings, bad days, heart breaks, and longings. You’re not immune to these challenges. Knowing that you might experience these will help you prepare for them and face them with more ease.
3. Develop and Practice a Healthy Response to Triggers
Another very important step in the start of your sobriety is developing and practicing a healthy response to triggers. Since you’re going to face them, why not decide what you’re going to do right now rather than wait until you’re in the confusion of the moment. You can role play with a friend or with yourself in the mirror. Either way, get really good at knowing what you’re going to do when you’re triggered. You might save your own life with this tip.
4. Taking Care of Yourself
Taking good care of yourself is essential throughout your recovery, not just at the start. In order to stay calm and centered so that you can face your recovery challenges with ease, find ways to tend to the health of your body, mind, and spirit. Remember to do things like go on long walks, spend time in nature, be in the company of close friends and loved ones, and participate in a sober community such as Alcoholics Anonymous. When you’re taking good care of yourself, you’ll have more ability to respond to triggers versus react to them. Reacting to a trigger might mean relapse. Responding to a trigger can mean choosing to call a close friend because you recognize you’re triggered and you don’t want to use.
5. Identify Warning Signs of Relapse
Sometimes after a few long and hard days at work, something inside might start to break down. Identifying early warning signs of a relapse is just as important as knowing what you’re triggers are. Warning signs for relapse are those subtle experiences that let you know you are beginning to feel worse and that you might relapse. For the best sober living and recovery experience it’s important to know yourself well enough to identify when you might be at risk for relapse.
These above listed tips are essential tasks for a beginning recovering addict. In order to stay sober, get to know yourself. Knowing who you are on your good days, bad days, and all the days in between can keep you safe and sober.