For anyone who has faced the reality of a substance use disorder, learning to live life without drugs or alcohol can prove to be a difficult task. They say old habits die hard, and that proves even more true when those old habits include addictive impulses that have impacted your personal relationships, physical health and overall wellbeing.
But, making the decision to get sober and overcome your addiction is a commendable choice and should be celebrated for the amazing accomplishment that it truly is. While your journey to recovery is typically paved with improved personal insight and accountability, affiliating with friends and family who still indulge in intoxicating substances is not uncommon.
So, how can you maintain the progress you have made in your rehabilitation when those around you continue to engage in questionable decision making and substance use?
Will you be forced to remove all people from your life who drink alcohol, even occasionally, or is there an alternative to maintaining your sobriety while also engaging with friends and family who are not on the same recovery journey as you are?
Taking the time to contemplate these questions is essential to achieving your recovery goals while also fostering a strong sober support network within your life.
Why a Healthy, Supportive Social Circle is Vital to Your Long-Term Sobriety
Finding the strength to overcome your addictive impulses and avoid unforeseen setbacks along your path to recovery sometimes requires the encouragement and support of those around you. For most individuals working to address their negative behavioral patterns and history of addiction, being around people who continue to use, or encourage substance use, can prove to be a major trigger to relapse.
Alternatively, by creating a sober support network that encourages your recovery progress and holds you accountable during the good times and the bad, you are establishing a safety net of sobriety. If you find yourself falling back into old, addictive habits, this safety net can prove essential at stopping your fall and providing support to get you back on a sober track.
Here’s How to NOT Drink When Everyone Else Is
Preparing your mind for the inevitable is imperative to avoiding an unanticipated relapse during your recovery journey. While you can control your decision to use substances, you cannot control the actions of those around you.
Therefore, practicing responses and reactions to those who may offer you a drink unknowingly and preparing your reactions to scenarios that increase your potential to relapse is essential. It is important that you prepare yourself for the reactions and lack of understanding that you may receive from those around you.
Be ready to say no and stand by your decision, even when it may jeopardize the relationships you have with others.
How to Stay Sober and Prevent a Relapse
As the saying goes, those who do not plan are planning to fail. This saying proves so true for those recovering from addiction who do not prepare themselves to interact with friends and family members who continue to drink or use other substances.
You must take the time to construct solid points and perspectives that you can reference when faced with difficult situations. This is important to maintaining the progress you have made and avoiding an unforeseen setback.
Some potential options include:
- Recruit Sober Supports
A family member, spouse or partner accompanying you can be invaluable, especially if they don’t have any substance use issues. Establish some ground rules with your loved one or friend before you leave:
What kind of event is it? How long do you want to stay? Do you need a secret signal to indicate that it’s time to leave?
With this kind of teamwork, staying sober and getting used to this new lifestyle is much easier.
- Create a List of Reasons You Stay Sober
For a lot of individuals, having a list of reminders helps them to achieve goals they have set for themselves. The same is true for those who are striving to lead a life of sobriety.
Think about the reasons why you have decided to be sober and make a list based on the following questions:
Are you doing this to be healthier? Is your motivation to stay sober a result of a spiritual or philosophical reason? Are you leading a sober life so you can be there for your family and children?
Making a list of the reasons you have decided not to relapse can give you a source of reinforcement when you are in social situations where others who are abusing substances.
- Respect Your Limitations
Everyone has triggers that can shatter their recovery. It’s important to be aware of your personal limits and what you can or can’t handle. The truth is there are some people in recovery who can’t be around substances at all, and that’s okay. It’s also significant to utilize the behavioral tools you learn in treatment.
Additionally, part of this is also understanding that we can only resist so much temptation. Sometimes this means passing up on opportunities in order to maintain the progress you’ve made.
The fact of the matter is you can only worry about your own actions and responses throughout your path to recovery. Having a plan and sticking to it can not only make social situations easier to navigate, it can also ensure that difficult scenarios don’t become a setback in your goal to achieve sustained sobriety.
Holistic Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery
If you’re looking for a luxury, non-12-step rehab in California, consider Ranch Creek Recovery’s alternative approach to addiction rehab. We go beyond the traditional, widely used 12-step program and focus on tailor-fitting each recovery program – whether 30, 60 or 90-days – to address every client’s unique needs.
With a more intimate recovery experience, a higher level of care, a serene environment, individual recovery plans and a holistic approach, you can be sure you or a loved one will receive everything needed to achieve sobriety and prepare for a thriving, sober life.
Learn more about Ranch Creek Recovery, including what we offer and what we treat. Contact us today to get your questions answered.