Making a conscious decision to get sober is the first step in the evolving process to battle your addiction. Everything changes over time and sobriety is no different. It’s important to know how addiction recovery changes over time so that you can adjust and be prepared for what lies ahead.
Sobriety is a journey with many twists and turns. While the journey will be different for everyone, these are some of the typical changes that happen over time.
You Realize There is a Problem
You can’t fix a problem if you don’t realize one exists. In this first part of the process, the person who needs addiction help is coming to terms that there is a problem. This is not an easy process and perhaps is the most difficult and painful. At first, there may be plenty of denial and fear of being able to commit to a full recovery. But when that is overcome, you can begin the process to your new, sober life.
You Become Determined to Change & Take Action
Once you decide that sobriety is something you truly want, you can begin to take steps to make it happen. Part of getting sober is finding the right resources that will get you on the path to recovery. Having a solid support system is one key aspect to recovery. The other is finding an addiction treatment program that will work for you. Seeking professional help as well as having friends and family to stand beside you will help you on your journey.
You Begin to Feel Free as Addiction Recovery Changes Over Time
As you begin to get sober you may feel like your sobriety will limit you when it comes to social situations and everyday life. Over time, that changes and you begin to feel free. The dependence on alcohol or other substances is fading and you begin to see that a sober life comes along with choices that allow you to be present in every moment of your life. You begin to feel free from the chains of addiction. For some people, this step takes a long time because of the temptation to relapse. But, with the right treatment and support team, your addiction has no chance of making another appearance.
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Sobriety Becomes Part of Your Life, But It Does Not Encompass You
When people begin on the path to sobriety, meetings and other recovery tools often take up a huge part of their lives, and rightfully so. Many plan their days around meetings and may even avoid certain situations. Their sobriety is often the main topic of discussion. As you continue to remain sober, you learn how to weave sobriety into your life while enjoying everything around you. You learn how to strike the right balance. Sobriety will always remain a part of your life, but you also learn how it can work with all of the pieces of the puzzle. This is when things begin to become clearer and also leads to the next big changes…confidence and determination.
Sobriety Becomes a Source of Pride
Some people in recovery may begin their journey with feelings of insecurity about how others will perceive them and if their sobriety will become a “taboo” subject. Over time, you will realize you can talk about your sobriety and have pride that you are overcoming your addiction. You will feel proud that you are conquering your demons. This pride overshadows any feelings of insecurity that may have existed in the past. This process begins a transformation process to a new life…one that is substance free and full of positivity.
Gaining Confidence to Live a Sober Life and Not Feeling Threatened by Substances
As you get treatment and begin to rebuild your life without the substance that was haunting you, you begin to gain the confidence that you can live a sober life. You no longer feel afraid that you may relapse and that your addiction will take over you. Your pride and confidence may become so profound that you feel as though you can also help others overcome their addiction. Your first-hand knowledge and feelings can serve as a source of comfort and support for another addict. If someone sees you can live a sober life, they may begin to feel that they can as well. You have the confidence to live a happy and healthy life that you deserve.
As we mentioned, finding the right treatment is key to a long-lasting recovery. Ocean Hills Recovery has different treatment programs available to help you begin your life of sobriety. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.