Misconceptions About Sobriety
I see and hear the same thing over and over from so many recovering addicts posting stories and comments online about how happy they are living a sober life. That is great, but today we will talk about common misconceptions about sobriety.
Leading a sober life will be different from the way it was when living with addiction. It is amazing to wake up every day without a hangover, without being dope sick or looking for the next pill, and to have money in your pocket instead of wasting it on drugs and alcohol. I have to say that it’s amazing how much money an addict spends while in addiction. I have much more money now, even though I make less than I did before. Deciding to live sober is not as simple as just detoxing from drugs or alcohol—it’s a new lifestyle that you are not used to that will take some time to adjust to living in.
Here are some of the top misconceptions about sobriety:
1. You need to be all alone in recovery
Sobriety is not lonely. If you think about it, you will find that addiction is lonely, that addicts get to a point where they isolate themselves from everyone because they are ashamed of what they are doing, and end up being alone, just doing drugs and inverting into their own thoughts. When in recovery, you will meet other people in the same situation as you. You will tend to help each other out with your wins and share what you do to stay busy and to stay clean. You will find people you can trust and who will help you to become a better person, so take advantage of it.
2. You will have a life that is not fun
Before I got sober, I used to say that sober people live boring lives. I used to wonder how people could live without getting high, and I wondered what kind of fun they had because at that time any activity without drugs and alcohol was boring to me.
But now that I am sober, I find myself enjoying the little things that didn’t matter before. I look at it now, and I find that my life before wasn’t fun. Addicts have a hard life, and it often includes criminal charges or other legal situations, divorce, child custody issues, no driver’s license, debts, no future, no success, no property, and much more. Being sober will open up so many doors and opportunities that you didn’t have before. People will come to you and ask to help someone else in addiction because now people look at your differently–you beat addiction and that makes you powerful.
3. It’s impossible to get back the trust of family members
I used to think about this a lot. I would say that my family would never forgive me for all that I did to them when I was in addiction, that all the unforgivable things I caused would haunt me for the rest of my life. But, I was wrong. A user who has recovered will be able to regain family trust with time. It is not fast, but it will happen when drugs and alcohol are out of the way. When your family sees that you are responsible and you are living the right way, they will trust you again. It will take time, and sometimes you will be questioned, but that is okay because they have reasons to question you. You caused this condition, but at least when you are sober, you can confront your past and work your way out of that condition into a better one.
4. Relapse is a part of recovery
I disagree with this 100%. Relapse is not a part of recovery and I’m not sure why people say that. I see that relapse is a part of addiction and that once you confront your addiction and past and make peace with them, you will enjoy your sober life so much that getting high will not be a part of your life anymore.
Most people who relapse hate the way they feel after using again. It is not the same as before, and it will not be the same when you use again. When in addiction, you come to a point that you use so you don’t get sick. Withdrawal is a huge part of addiction, and the fear of having withdrawal symptoms causes so many users to stay on drugs and become afraid of getting sober.
Even if you relapsed, so what? Recognize that you relapsed and find help, confront it, and beat it. You beat full addiction before, so you can beat any obstacles you face. Always ask for help when you need it, and always be a part of a supportive team in recovery.
Also, there are often signs that you are heading towards a relapse. Maybe you are not as active as you were before, or you start hanging around old friends who are not supportive of your recovery, or you keep finding excuses for not doing things, and you begin telling little white lies. It’s important that you are aware of harmful habits and behavior patterns that will lead you back towards relapse. Catch it early and correct course before reaching a full-blown relapse. And if you need to, reach out to someone who will support you and hold you accountable. Ask for help.
5. Life is easy when recovered
Life will not change when you recover, and things will not necessarily go your way. Recovery will not make your life easy, but it will change the way you react to it. You will be thinking clearly, which is the greatest weapon you can have to beat anything in life. You will be able to see things as they really are, and you will be able to find solutions to your problems.
If you have a big electric bill that you can’t pay now, call the company and ask them to give you a payment plan instead of ignoring the bill like you did while in addiction. Deal with the problem if the electricity goes out, don’t run from it.
If you don’t have a job, apply to all the jobs online until one of them works out for you. Make calls. Make in-person visits.
If you lost communication with your children when in addiction, sit with them and ask about their school work and find out about their day. Find out if they need help in school or if they have any problems, and be a part of the solution.
This is not a science, but it’s life as it should be. Control the things you can, and don’t stress about the things you can’t control. Life is simple. The more you complicate things, the more complicated they will get.
Sobriety is not hard, but it’s not easy either. You have to want it and be willing to work hard to get it. Then you will get to a point in your journey where it will be easy to live sober. You can’t do it for anyone but yourself. When you are sober, everyone around you will benefit from it, and your family will be good as long as you are good.
Your job will be good because you are doing the work, your health will be good because you are not putting all that poison in your body and you are taking care of yourself, and your financial state will be good because you are not wasting your money on your high.
I will say this over and over again: Life is beautiful, but drugs kill your dreams and your ambitions. No addict likes his life the way it is—every addict wants to be free from addiction. There is so much to be accomplished. It is not impossible to be what you dream of. Know what you really want and plan out the steps to achieve your goals. Start with the things that are doable and finish those first. Then work on the harder ones, and they will also be realized if you really work on them.
Make the right decision and let go of the mental prison that only leads to a dead end. Be the inspiration that others need and be the good thing that happens to others.