The following is a collaboration piece submitted to me that shares some great points about the first year of sobriety.
Many people believe that the journey to a life of sobriety is an easy one. After all, you just need to not drink any alcohol, right? That might be an easy enough task for people who don’t have any issues with alcohol, but for those of us who struggle with it on a regular basis, it is never as easy as simply giving up. In fact, there could be a few setbacks that make the journey a very difficult one.
The hardest part of becoming sober has to be the first year. This is the time during which many people will find that their cravings are the hardest, and they will be a lot more likely to make one of the following mistakes.
Becoming A Hermit
Some people are worried about social gatherings and events when they are trying to give up drinking. They think that they will be pressurized into drinking or that their friends might not understand why they don’t want to drink anymore. However, staying at home every day won’t help either and you will only end up lonely and bored. It’s fair enough if you want to avoid parties, but there are other social events and hobbies that you will be able to take part in. Plus, I’m sure that your true friends will want to support you every step of the way.
Thinking You Can Do This On Your Own
Don’t be too confident and think that you can become sober without anyone else’s help. If you do try to do this on your own, you will find that it is a tremendous struggle and your willpower might not be up to it. So, it’s a good idea to look for help wherever you can. One option is to use the outpatient services at your local recovery center. You might also want to join a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous.
Comparing Yourself To Others
Once you become part of your local sober community, you might feel inclined to start comparing yourself to the other recovering addicts that you meet. Of course, there will be those who have been on their journey a lot longer than you, and they will seem to have everything back together in their life. Don’t compare yourself to them, though. As I’ve mentioned, they will have been on their path to sobriety a lot longer than you, and you should expect to be where they are in a few years’ time. After all, we are all on completely different roads to recovery!
Living With Triggers
It’s a good idea to remove any potential triggers from your life. For instance, if you know some friends will be a bad influence and will try to get you to drink, then you should cut ties with them for good. Your health is a lot more important than their toxic friendship! Similarly, don’t visit any places that might bring back strong memories of your drinking past.
The first year of sobriety is always the hardest!