If you are currently in recovery from substance use (whether it's alcohol or other substances), then you already know how much work it has taken you to achieve that level of sobriety. Congratulations on your achievement!
As we move into 2024, it’s crucial to set yourself up for continued sobriety in the New Year, and you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid having a relapse. Of course, it may feel like relapse is the very last thing that could ever happen to you, given how hard you've worked and how focused you are. But the truth is that it's very common for people who are new to recovery to relapse and work backward for a while. Even those who have been sober for years can relapse and fall back off again. Many say the best way to recover is to continue going to your meetings, refrain from drug or alcohol use, and avoid situations where you could be tempted.
If these are tactics that work well for you, continue to deploy them, as you're on the right track. However, sobriety is not a straight road. In fact, it's one of the bendiest ones, and there are always pitfalls along the way. The more tactics that you discover to pinpoint your triggers and navigate a life of sobriety, the better. So, let's take a look at how you can set yourself up for continued sobriety this New Year. It's critical to have a plan if you're seeking a life of continued sobriety, and here is a helpful outline to do so.
You should identify some goals for your new year that don't involve situations where you could be tempted to drink or take drugs. Identifying goals, such as learning a new skill or starting a new hobby, can make a positive impact. You could also make a list of things that you'd like to try at least once, whether that's ziplining, bungee jumping, or taking a painting class.
Learning a new skill may take some time, but it’s a great way to distract yourself from becoming bored or tempted to fall back into substance use. You could also set out a financial plan to save a certain amount of money for the rest of the year. Or, you could identify a fitness-related goal that occupies your time and focus.
When you're in the pit of addiction, and you're not sober, it's easy to ignore all of your relationships, both professional and personal. This year, prioritize your relationships and see your friends more often (just the ones that won't tempt you to break your sobriety). Spend more time with your family and make new connections with people at work. You may find that you feel better about yourself.
Sobriety is not something that's easy to achieve, but you can maintain it if you are communicative, open, and ready to work on relationships and put the past behind you. Addiction can distance you from your relationships and cause you to lose touch with your children or other family members.
Taking some of those family members along with you to therapy sessions can help you reconnect in a safe environment, allow you to speak about how you feel, and gain added support. It's part of working through the steps, but maybe the new year could be a good time for you to prioritize your relationships even further.
Avoiding trigger situations requires you to steer clear of those areas in your life where you might be tempted into relapsing. If going to bars or pubs and drinking soft drinks or non-alcoholic drinks is going to be too hard for you, then it’s important to avoid going to them altogether. You must also set boundaries with family and friends and ensure they know what possible triggers exist in your life so they can better support you.
If anyone offers a judgmental opinion when you discuss your substance use triggers with them, it’s important to turn your focus on those who offer more positive encouragement. You need to identify the people in your life who are best going to support you and help you stay accountable during the New Year and beyond.
As mentioned, it’s important to rely even more on your support network as you begin the New Year. It’s also essential to rely on support from your therapy groups and to go to meetings with peers. You don't have to just go to one meeting a day or a week, either. You could attend several meetings a day if that's what works best for you. If you become tempted by a drink or by other substances, then go to more therapy sessions or counseling, if necessary. Using resources like these will help to keep you focused on your goal of sobriety. Leaning on that support network is highly encouraged because that's exactly what it's there for.
Consulting with friends and family and telling them how you feel can work wonders for your mental health during this time, too. Make sure that you also have a therapist involved. A professional who can walk you through why you are feeling the way that you are feeling can enable you to sustain your sobriety by giving you more insights into your mental health. The most important thing while maintaining sobriety is that you feel as supported as possible, and you can be sure that that's exactly what your sobriety groups are going to strive to accomplish.
External help and professional support in getting sober are there and available for you. You just have to reach out and ask. Contacting Jackson House Rehab today can help you get on the right track for sobriety this year. Continuing your sobriety journey can sometimes be just as hard as getting there in the first place without the right help, so let us make it easier for you and support you along the way. With the right support, you can head into the New Year ready to face new challenges and better maintain an addiction-free life.