Sobriety is hard when recovering from any addiction, and a simple “I quit” doesn’t mark the end of your dependence on alcohol or drugs. It’s a lifelong process that requires recommitting yourself every day. If you’re wondering how to stay sober after quitting, you’re not the only one.
It’s important to know that sobriety is difficult for everyone. While the drug addiction journey is often different, every recovering addict has their own set of challenges to face with long term sobriety. But you can do it.
One of the first steps in the treatment program will be to know how to maintain smart recovery even in the most challenging times, and we have the top tips to help you succeed in recovery.
How Hard is It to Maintain Sobriety?
How hard it is to maintain early sobriety varies from person to person. However, it will not be an easy road to navigate. Not only do 40-60% of people with an addiction experience a relapse, but there are a lot of obstacles along the recovery journey that could make the process more difficult:
- Social pressure
- No escaping your feelings
- Unrealistic expectations, and more.
That said, addiction recovery will get easier over time. The first week will be the hardest, but the first month is a noteworthy accomplishment. By six months, you’ll start noticing the benefits being sober has on your life and the disadvantages of substance use.
After the first year, however, things will start looking up. A 2018 study reports improved mental health, quality of life, and happier feelings after your first year of sobriety. The rates of relapse also start dropping after early recovery.
How Can I Stay Sober?
It would be wonderful if you could just walk away from addiction, and that be that. But that’s not the case, at least not for most people. Getting sober and staying sober is uncomfortable. It’s hard, and a rollercoaster of emotions is ahead of you.
However, seeking help and treatment is the second step (the first is deciding to quit) to staying sober. This journey won’t be easy, but the right rehab and treatment center will make it easier by helping you work through the following:
- What fueled your addiction
- How to avoid those settings (and replace them with better surroundings and hobbies), and
- Relapse prevention
- The most effective ways how to maintain sobriety moving forward
6 Tips on Staying Sober
In your journey, you’ll gather many tips on how to stay sober. Addiction treatment can help you determine what course is right for you. These tips will come from experts, other recovering addicts, friends & family, and many others.
Despite what everyone else says, you must follow the advice that works best for you. It can change over time as you grow and change. Nonetheless, it can be influential in helping you maintain sobriety. The six most popular and essential tips for staying sober include the following.
1. Join a Support Group
In an academic review of several studies, researchers found that those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse experienced significantly lower relapse rates than those who did not.
This is because joining a support group offers numerous benefits:
- Fosters self-acceptance and sober friendships
- Continues to remind you that you are not alone
- Allows you to take control of your life while helping others stay sober
- Provides you with a positive outlook
- Emotional support
Support groups are not just limited to 12-step programs. People can also find support through peer therapeutic groups and other fellowships.
2. Recognize Personal and Environmental Triggers, and Avoid Them
One of the hardest parts about getting sober, and staying sober, is no longer doing the things that fueled your addiction. This can include several environmental triggers:
- Certain social events
- Old routines and habits, etc.
However, personal triggers to avoid are those you battle within yourself. This may include:
- Financial problems
- Mental health issues
- Trouble in a relationship
The latter is often more challenging to avoid. Specialized care and treatment can help you get your health and well-being in order. They can also help you manage your triggers after.
3. Follow a Routine
Getting yourself into a positive and healthy routine is essential to your recovery. This is because it helps combat the rollercoaster of emotions many can experience during their recovery while also helping you focus more on your goals.
These routines can include:
- Planning out your meals
- Participating in charity work
- Exercising daily
- Taking on new hobbies and learning new things
- Going to work
4. Replace Toxic Relationships with Healthy Ones
One of the most important tips or advice you can get on how to stay sober is to get out of the toxic relationships that fueled your addiction and replace them with healthier ones. These relationships could be intentionally unhealthy and codependent or even unintentionally enabling.
Either way, studies show that unhealthy relationships contribute significantly to relapses. Discuss with your counselor how to change problematic relationships and identify more supportive ones.
5. Prioritize Self-Care and Healthy Living Practices
A variety of healthy strategies can contribute to your success with recovery. According to Harvard Health, there are studies with evidence supporting the link between daily exercise and overcoming your addiction.
However, other self-care and healthy living practices that can help include:
- Good sleep
- Balanced meals
- Mindful practices (like yoga and meditation)
- Set healthy boundaries
- Make healthy connections
- Find new hobbies
6. Always Celebrate Your Milestones
Every second of sobriety is an immense achievement, and you should be so proud! It is an arduous journey, and you deserve a celebration for every milestone you hit. Even the smallest of victories deserve your acknowledgment.
Start by keeping track (writing, typing, reminders) of your weekly, monthly, and yearly anniversaries. Then choose rewards as they relate to your sober milestones: small rewards for small milestones and big rewards for significant milestones.
It’s also worth inviting supportive friends and family to these celebrations. It’s a great way to recognize your strength and new beginnings.
Benefits of a Gay-friendly Sober Living
The best kind of support is the kind of support that truly understands what you’re going through. For those of us in the LGBTQ+ community, this can mean going through recovery with other members of our community.
Having peers that understand the challenges unique members of the LGBTQ+ recover alongside you can make a world of difference in the long term. Really, the benefits of gay-friendly sober living are endless, but the most significant include the following:
- Compassionate community
- An understanding and accepting environment
- Comfort and support
- A safe place to recover
- Specialized services and programs
- Higher rates of success due to LGBTQ+-specific treatment
Stay Sober with No Matter What Recovery
Staying sober is difficult, but it’s not impossible.
You can continue taking steps forward to a better future with the right treatment and recovery center. Better days are ahead of you, so don’t put your life on hold just because sobriety is difficult.
Long-term recovery is possible with the right support. Whether you’re suffering from alcohol abuse or drug abuse there are solutions. Between alcohol rehab and other American addiction centers substance abuse treatment is always available. Alcohol addiction is no joke, excessive alcohol consumption can give extremely dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
You have so much to offer this world, and your journey begins with specialized help from a trusted drug and rehab center. In Los Angeles, No Matter What Recovery is a treatment center that prioritizes compassion and acceptance to help you stay sober no matter what.
Contact us for more resources, tips, and personalized treatment.