The first few days of alcoholism rehab will be difficult, but for many recovering alcoholics, the real challenge will be staying sober over the long haul. Rehab centers will provide almost round-the-clock support and therapy to stop your alcohol use. When you check out, you will need to find resources and techniques that will help you stay sober over the remainder of your life.
Alcoholism is a chronic disease that is never “cured” in the traditional sense. A person who is an alcoholic can be affected by the disease and can suffer one or more relapses after long periods of sobriety. This pernicious aspect of alcoholism party explains the structure of 12-step and other programs that give a recovering alcoholic tools to change his outlook and his life in ways that direct his attention to matters outside of his own self-centered interests.
Apart from these programs, recovering alcoholics will find no shortage of suggestions and mechanisms to help them stay sober. One of the more obvious mechanisms is to eliminate the physical and emotional connections that fostered his alcoholism. This can mean terminating old friendships, avoiding places and events that provided easy access to alcohol, and keeping all alcohol and other temptations out of the house that a recovering alcohol inhabits. Most recovering alcoholics will continue to see counselors and therapists, who can provide other suggestions to eliminate those connections.
Staying Sober in Recovery
Recovering alcoholics are prone to boredom. When boredom strikes, they trend back toward looking for a drink. Rehab centers will teach alcoholics to seek new alcohol-free activities that keep them engaged and that stave off doldrums that can lead to a relapse. Staying busy with new hobbies and activities will go a long way toward helping a recovering alcoholic to stay sober.
On a more philosophical level, rehab centers teach recovering alcoholics to practice mindfulness and to enhance their awareness of their day-to-day activities. Mindfulness can also help an alcoholic to achieve an attitude of gratefulness and to reach out to help other recovering alcoholics. 12-step recovery and other similar programs will ask recovering alcoholics to look for outside opportunities to help other people, including other recovering alcoholics. These programs form communities of individuals who are all committed to staying sober themselves while helping others to stay sober.
Many alcoholics also suffer from depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. Staying sober often requires treating those disorders with continuing therapy and prescription antidepressants. Recovering alcoholics who are also experiencing symptoms of psychological problems should continue to attend outpatient counseling sessions at least until those problems are under control.
A recovering alcoholic who is committed to staying sober will inevitably find his or her own tricks and techniques to stay sober. What works for one person may not work for another. The key is to continue to look for those tricks and techniques and to practice them whenever the temptation to have a drink rears its head.
The Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, can give you more information and techniques on how you can stay sober when you are recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction. Please call us at 512-360-3600 for a confidential consultation on your case and for further assistance to keep you on your path to permanent sobriety.