Wondering if you have to stay sober forever is a common debate after leaving rehab. Thinking about forever can be overwhelming. But, in reality, you can stay sober for the rest of your life, but some people might find it easier to focus on it one day at a time. After all, recovery is all about taking the first step. If you’re struggling to think about sobriety for the rest of your life, consider these practices and mindfulness tips to maximize early recovery.
How to Stay Sober After Rehab
Instead of focusing on sobriety forever, let’s focus on how to actively practice the principles you learned in rehab to remain sober now.
1. Get a Sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Listening to the voice of experience could benefit you, and an excellent way to access that voice is through a sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). As someone who has also been down the road of alcohol addiction, chances are they know how to get sober and, most importantly, how to stay sober. Through their experiences, they could recommend several strategies and tips to stay away from alcohol in a healthy way that maintains life’s fun and happy moments.
2. Focus on Mindfulness
Every person in recovery is different, but how we speak to ourselves matters a lot. Mindfulness can help you stay in the present moment, shielding you from the anxiety caused by thinking of the future. Mindfulness can help lower stress and anxiety that could trigger a relapse episode.
Some mindfulness practices include journaling and meditation. Spend at least 25-30 minutes of your day journaling and dumping every thought, emotion, and situation. Highlight what you’re grateful for each day.
3. Keep Track of Good Reasons to Stay Sober
Everyone has a good reason why they choose to stay sober. Use mindfulness practices to keep reminders of your reasons for staying sober. Journaling, meditation, and gratitude can help you keep track of good reasons to stay sober. Practicing this daily can help you see the value and importance of staying sober forever.
4. Talk About Your Sobriety Struggles with Others
Sobriety is tricky. If you’re ever struggling with the idea of long-term sobriety, talk to someone you trust. Whether it’s people who are going through or have been through this kind of situation before, like fellow AAs or your sponsor, or someone you trust who can help you figure things out, talking about it can make you feel less alienated.
If you’re worried about relapsing, consider discussing it with an addiction counselor. While you might have completed your rehab program, checking in with a therapist often can help you find the guidance and motivation you need to stay on track.
5. Consider a Partial Rehab Program
If you’re looking for an alternative to how to stay sober after rehab but with a less intense process, then a partial program might be the answer. This modality allows you to access various activities and daily meetings that will help you to maintain a life without alcohol in a healthy way.
You can also choose to participate in an aftercare rehab program. Also known as alumni programs, they are an excellent choice for those struggling in early recovery. Aftercare programs give you access to the structure and guidance you enjoyed during rehab, but with the many freedoms of early recovery.
This way, you can start experiencing the benefits of being sober and not be so fearful of long-term sobriety.
Do You Have to Stay Sober Forever?
Sobriety means different things to different people. Because of this, there are many correct answers to this question. For some, staying sober forever is the only way to avoid relapsing. For others, sobriety can be flexible, and they can enjoy the occasional drink with friends or family.
Nonetheless, staying sober forever doesn’t have to be a curse. Sober living can be incredibly rewarding and fun when you focus on the positives.
In the end, it’s a very personal choice.
Find Help to Stay Sober
Alcohol addiction can be challenging to overcome. But, when you’re determined to get the help you need to stay sober, you’re already taking a step in the right direction. As other people will likely tell you, staying sober forever is more of a blessing than a curse. Sobriety allows many to be close to their family, find employment opportunities, and reap the benefits of a wholesome life away from addiction. If you’re ready to get started, reach out for help and learn more about how to start your journey towards long-lasting recovery today.