“Are you sabotaging your own sobriety?”
It was the first time I had asked this question to a client and I was nervous about her response.
“Well…when you put it like that… I guess I am” she replied gingerly.
I realized then at that point I was on to something.
Sobriety is a tricky thing to get right all the time. In fact, getting sober is just about one of the hardest things to do period. So, why do so many people sabotage their chances of success?
Over the years we’ve learned from a number of clients and people that there are some things that seem to crop up time and time again.
We compiled a list of the 16 ways you might be sabotaging your sobriety. Take a look and let us know if any of these ring a bell!
1. Going out with friends to a bar on Friday night
It’s unfortunate that this happens to be true but in the early days of sobriety especially, you need to be avoiding the bars, pubs, clubs and parties as much as possible. Remember, you’re only likely to trip up if you put yourself in that situation in the first place!
2. Keeping alcohol in your home
Speaking of putting yourself in a position, this is a prime example! Keeping alcohol in your home while you are recovering is a huge no-no! If it’s there, within your reach, your mind is going to work overtime. Get rid of it as soon as possible!
3. Sleeping too little!
You all should know by now that lack of sleep has many negative health benefits. This extends to your sobriety too. Lack of sleep makes you irritable, cranky and much more likely to break your recovery. Aim for a solid 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you’re not sure how much sleep you need take our quiz – it’s quick and really simple. Click here to get started.
4. Sleeping too much!
On the flip side, it is totally possible to sleep too much as well. Sleeping too much can cause you to be lethargic and possibly signs of mental health issues such as depression as well. Try not to sleep too much more than the recommended amounts. You really don’t want to be feeling crummy for any reason at all.
5. Reminiscing about the old drinking days fondly
People often look back on times in their lives with rose tinted glasses. These rose tinted glasses make you feel as though certain times or experiences were better than they were. Yes, hangovers and feeling like a truck hit you aren’t going to be examples of these. What might be an example of this is hanging out with friends at a party. Sure, those events may have been decent times but they aren’t going to do you any favors now.
6. Unrealistic expectations
Recovery is hard. Period. You are going to have great days and not so great days. Not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Just temper your expectations a little bit so you’re not dealing with feeling disappointed. You can’t expect it to be a walk in the park. We recommend just going for the calm, cool approach and search for stability. Set yourself some attainable goals and you won’t be feeling bad about your levels of success.
7. Using alcohol based mouthwash
This might seem like a weird one but alcohol based mouthwash can trigger all kinds of weird feelings and memories. Quite a few of our clients have talked to us about having to get rid of it. The temptation isn’t that you will drink it, although some do, but that it will make you feel like drinking something else. Why even introduce that feeling in the first place when plenty of other options exist?
8. Not implementing a fitness regimen
Now I’m not talking about getting a six-pack or aiming to be shredded here. However, you do need to implement some kind of fitness in your life. Fitness has been shown to improve mental health (link), helps conquer addiction (link) and makes you feel like a general badass (no link for that one).
9. Trying to replicate your old life pre-sobriety
So many people don’t understand that their lives have to change in recovery. Your old life is basically what led you to this outcome (although mental health/genetics play an obvious role too) so why try to replicate it?
10. Hiding it from other people
Please don’t do this. Yes, it will be difficult. No you don’t need to share it with everyone. However, if there are people in your life who can help you, then do so! Significant others, close friends and family, etc, are all good options. Going it alone isn’t the answer. Let your support system, ya know, support you.
Like the song says, people often get ready to drink around 5pm. Now, you can’t skip 5pm entirely but you can be ready for it. Prepare mentally for the time when you would normally reach for a drink and go for a walk. Take a shower. Have a cup of coffee (probably decaf though). Whatever it is, find a way to take your mind off the time.
12. Being in stressful situations
At first this might seem pretty obvious. Stress equals relapse right? And yes, it is true that stress contributes to relapse but sometimes we put ourselves in stressful situations without realizing it. The trick here isn’t to always look for the easy way out of these situations, especially if you’re working, but instead to protect your sobriety. You can do that by integrating an activity every day like journaling.
13. Not talking about how you feel
Tell someone how you feel! It doesn’t matter if it is a friend, family member or therapist. Talking about your feelings, versus bottling them up, is a surefire way to keep on the path to recovery. Your ability to communicate feelings provides relief. If you keep those feelings bottled up they have to spill out somewhere and that usually ends in a relapse.
14. Feeling too confident
Those first few days and weeks might be tough but just wait until you’re in the honeymoon phase! That honeymoon phase will make you feel like you can accomplish anything. But…that’s when you have to be on top of your game. Feeling confident means you take unnecessary risks and that’s when a trigger can cause you to relapse unexpectedly.
15. Sky high expectations of others
Unfortunately you’ve got to realize that there are very few people you can rely on completely to respect your sobriety. Even friends and family members may try and tempt you to have a glass of wine or a beer. “What’s the harm anyway” they’ll say. Be careful of these people and just know that they may not live up to the lofty expectations you have for them.
16. Sprinting in a marathon
Sobriety is a marathon not a sprint. You need to be prepared for a long battle. Sure, the battle gets easier over time but you don’t prepare yourself in the same way as you do for a marathon. Set long term goals and achievable targets in your life to work towards. This is how you earn long term sobriety.
If you’ve been struggling to get sober from home, now is the perfect time to get started. Our bestselling book, Sobriety Success, is now on sale at Amazon. The book gives you everything you need to finally earn that sober life you’ve been dreaming of.
Check out this review from the book:
This book have ALL what you need to start your recovery journey right now, from home and without investing a lot of money, time and energy. The Sobriety Success Method WORKS, why do I say that? Because I had use it before. In this book you will find all the information that you need to create your path to leave your adicction, also the book comes with some FREE PDF WORKSHEETS as bonuses that you could use to design your recovery program.
You have to get in mind that a full recovery means a full live change, you can't change your future being the same person you were in the past, so you have to accept it and work on it (the results you will have deserves the work).