Sobriety generally refers to the state of being sober which is abstaining from drinking alcohol. It is often associated with addiction recovery and can be seen as the opposite of addiction. Sobriety can be a personal goal for individuals who struggle with addiction and can be achieved through various methods such as therapy, support groups, and rehabilitation programs.
Sobriety is not only for people who struggle with alcohol addiction but also for anyone who wants to make a positive lifestyle change to support a healthy, balanced, and fulfilling life. It can involve developing coping mechanisms and learning to manage stress and emotions in healthier ways.
While sobriety can be a challenging journey, it can also be a rewarding one that allows individuals to regain control of their lives and experience the benefits of living a sober and fulfilling life.
What are the Biggest Challenges People Face in Sobriety?
There are several challenges that people may face in sobriety. These challenges can vary from person to person, as everyone’s journey is unique. However, here are some common challenges that individuals in sobriety may encounter:
Cravings and Triggers
One of the biggest challenges in sobriety is dealing with cravings and triggers. These can be anything that reminds an individual of their past alcohol use and can trigger strong urges to drink again.
Social pressures and the influence of peers who still drink alcohol can be a challenge in sobriety. It can be challenging to navigate social situations where others may be drinking and individuals may feel pressure to fit in or even be pressured to drink by so called friends.
Emotions and feelings that have been suppressed by drinking alcohol can resurface in sobriety, and individuals may struggle to cope with them in healthy ways. This can include anxiety, depression, anger, and shame. Its important to find heathy ways to deal with your emotions in sobriety as further drinking will only compound the problem.
Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS):
PAWS can occur in the weeks and months after you have stopped drinking and can persist for several months. Symptoms can include anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and mood swings. These symptoms can be distressing and may interfere with daily functioning but they are normally intermittent and will eventually pass.
Stigma and Shame
Addiction is still stigmatized in many societies, and people in recovery may face shame or judgment from others. It’s essential to develop a sense of self-compassion and self worth.
Sobriety can be a lifelong journey, and it may be challenging to maintain motivation over the long term. It’s important to have a strong support network and to set realistic goals and expectations for the recovery process. It’s important to remember why you got sober in the first place. Remembering your why will help when things get tough.
What is the Best Way to Overcome these Challenges?
Overcoming challenges in sobriety can be a difficult sometimes, but it is possible with the right approach and support. Here are some tips that may be helpful:
Surround yourself with people who support your sobriety and seek out professional help if it is needed. This can include therapy, support groups, a sponsor in a recovery program or just a like minded friend who you feel comfortable talking to.
Build a routine
Establishing a regular routine can help create structure and stability in your life. This can include setting a regular sleep schedule, eating healthy, exercising, and finding hobbies or activities that you enjoy. Once you stop drinking, you’ll be amazed at how much spare time you have.
Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This can include eating well, getting enough sleep, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and finding ways to manage stress and emotions. Find some ‘You’ time. Try hiding away from the family for half and hour to take a long hot bath.
Take responsibility for your actions and decisions, and be accountable to yourself and others. This can involve setting goals, tracking progress, and being honest about any struggles or setbacks you may have.
Celebrate your accomplishments and milestones, no matter how small. This can help build confidence and motivation to continue on your journey towards sobriety.
Remember that sobriety is a lifelong process and there may be ups and downs along the way. But with determination, support, and a positive mindset, you can overcome challenges and continue on the path towards a fulfilling and sober life. Check out one of my other posts where I give you my personal, tried and tested tips for staying sober.
There are many resources available for sobriety help in the United Kingdom. Here are a few options:
The National Health Service provides support for alcohol and drug addiction. You can speak to your GP for a referral to a specialist service, or you can contact a local service directly.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
AA is a global organization that provides support for people struggling with alcohol addiction. There are meetings available throughout the UK and online.
SMART Recovery UK
SMART Recovery is a science-based approach to addiction recovery that offers online and in-person support groups.
Addaction is a UK-wide charity that provides a range of addiction treatment and support services.
The Priory Group
The Priory Group is a private healthcare company that offers addiction treatment services in various locations throughout the UK.
It’s important to find a resource that works for you and your specific needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support in your journey towards sobriety.
If you think sobriety is for you, check out my how to stop drinking post below.
Mrs Mac x