Getting sober is only the first step in recovery. Someone who is an alcoholic always has to be aware that they could relapse because of triggers. Alcoholism is a chronic disease, so you will never fully recover from it. A sober life is possible though, and it helps to get advice and support.
The first step in sobriety is to know what can stop it. All alcoholics have triggers that will tempt them to drink. These triggers have developed because alcoholics used to use alcohol in response to certain feelings or events. Your brain has developed a habit of linking these events to drinking. That is why they become triggers. Everyone has different triggers but here are some common ones.
Once you learn your triggers, you can pick activities that either avoid them or can replace alcohol as the trigger response.
You will need to find something to replace your drinking habit. It will take a bit of time to remember what you love. However, once you do find good substitutes, you will enjoy filling your life with activities that are not drinking. Here are some activities you can consider.
- Taking a Walk
- Starting a Creative Project
- Finding Friends with Similar Hobbies
- Reading a Book
Alcoholics need to be able to talk about their addiction. Friends and family are great for support if you need them. However, sometimes you want to share your experience with people who can understand you. That is why there are a lot of alcoholic support groups in every city. Try joining a meeting. It is free so if you do not like that community, you can always jump to another one. Whatever you decide, make sure you know there is a support group you can rely on to help you.
If you are following a routine, your body will find less time to want to drink. Schedule everything. Make sure you are eating at similar times every day. Figure out a perfect time to shower and go to bed. If you see a lot of free time, try to introduce activities you love into your schedule slowly. Once you get a great schedule going, you will not get caught unaware by things in life that may trigger a drinking craving in you.
We are creatures of habit. That is when we feel comfortable. Following a routine also helps you because these patterns can break. An alcoholic may feel alcohol cravings because the brain has relied on alcohol as part of the routine. Being aware of this will help you understand where the cravings are coming from. You can resist them.
Keep Track of Your Progress
You may want to keep a diary or journal. You can learn a lot from revisiting your new sober days. You can drop down what you liked and what you did not like. Also, staying sober for any number of days is challenging. Not everyone around you is going to know how to reward you for it. It is essential that the progress is visible to you so you can feel great about what you are doing.