I found out the hard way that recovery is a lifetime commitment.
After my first rehab experience, I thought it would be easy to live a sober lifestyle. I was so wrong.
The choices I made after that first stint in rehab went against everything I now believe. I continued to socialize with a crowd of drinkers and users, believing I could stay sober even if they couldn’t. I believed I had the power and the willpower to be in these situations without experiencing cravings and without “wanting” to partake in their activities. To no surprise, it wasn’t long before I relapsed and returned to rehab and then a sober living environment.
Now four years sober, my goal is to talk with newly recovered women on how to live a sober lifestyle.
I don’t admit to knowing it all, but I can share my experience. Hanging out with your old crowd may seem possible at first, but the minute a life change (good or bad) happens, those not working a solid 12-Step program can easily relapse.
So, yes, I am a 12-Step believer because I’ve seen the miracles happen not only for myself, but for those in my home-group as well. I worried early in sobriety about how to live a sober lifestyle, and with that I worried if I’d be happy living that lifestyle. The great news is you don’t have to worry, because it is possible and you can be happy. As I share with others who are suffering from the disease of alcoholism, it’s the simple changes that can impact us the most.
First, take a deep breath and rely and lean on the power of the program to help you through this delicate time or early sobriety.
Find a 12-Step group that you can relate to – whether age- or gender-specific. Go to as many meetings as possible and get involved with the social aspect of the fellowship. Within these meetings, friendships cultivate, trust is developed, and life-long relationships are built. You’ll begin to learn how to live a sober lifestyle just by listening to your peers’ stories of courage, strength and hope. Soon you’ll begin to implement some of the tools they have used to stay sober.
Living a sober lifestyle is possible. The “how to” live a sober lifestyle will evolve with patience, the fellowship, and becoming true to yourself. First, you have to want to really want to be sober. If you do, get to a meeting and learn from those who have seen the miracles.