Living in sobriety is a wonderful and enriching change for addicts and alcoholics. However, it is easy for us at times to assume that because we are sober that everything will be all sunshine and rainbows. When things don’t go how we planned, it’s common to fall back into negative thinking if we haven’t yet started strengthening our spiritual life. It is also common for us that once our brain starts running, it can be close to impossible to get it to shut off.
The positive side to this is that we no longer have to drink or get high over problems in life as there are countless healthy outlets in sobriety for dealing with the negative and difficult emotions that can arise in day to day life.
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First things first, let’s talk program. The number one most important step is to get a sponsor and start working your steps. If you are new, it can feel a little weird asking a stranger for help, but have faith, you will be glad you did. Having a sponsor opens up a door of communication with someone who will get to know you, and it will be a lot easier when things get rough if you have at least one person who has your back.
Getting started on the steps as soon as possible is key as well. The steps help you to figure out why you feel the way you do, and why these negative and difficult emotions are happening. Once you figure it out, the steps help you to learn how to deal with them in a constructive way.
Talk to Another Person in Sobriety
The twelfth step entails that working with another alcoholic/addict will keep us from a relapse. Regardless of whether you are sponsoring or not, you can always go to a meeting or grab coffee with another alcoholic. Fellowshipping allows us to get outside ourselves, and hearing about someone else’s day can help put ours into perspective.
Get Close with Your Sobriety.
Even if you haven’t figured out exactly what your higher power means to you, it’s still good practice to start praying. A lot of agnostics in the program simply start out by praying to something greater than themselves such as the ocean, nature, or simply to “Good Orderly Direction.” Asking your higher power for help and guidance in both good times as well as tight spots brings about a calmness and a sense of peace.
This sounds like something for the mystics for many new people in recovery. We hear all the time to practice prayer and meditation, but never start because we can tend to feel like we are doing it wrong. In reality, meditating is the easiest practice in our entire program. Start by sitting quietly, and just focus on your breathing. Let your thoughts come and go, but always come back to the focus on your breath. It may also help you to look up some guided meditation videos on YouTube.
Find a Constructive Hobby
Nothing is more frustrating than being stuck in a negative thought loop. We create dozens of hypothetical situations and possible outcomes and feel worse and worse. Having a hobby gives us an opportunity to break the thinking by redirecting our thought process. Some people lean towards exercise like yoga and basketball, while others enjoy reading, cooking, or listening to music. Whatever suits you, do it! This can become a form of meditation, and you never know, maybe you could be really really good at it!
While this is only a starting point for an endless list of ways to manage negative feelings in your sobriety, each person will find outlets that benefit them the most. Since each person has their own recovery journey, it’s good to try a bunch of stuff out. Think of it as an opportunity to start that thing you always wanted to do but kept pushing to the side because of your addiction.
The best part about getting sober is that we are no longer restrained by drugs or alcohol. We fought and struggled and got extremely creative in ways to get high, and now we can focus all of that imagination on becoming better people. There will be ups and downs and that’s okay because life is supposed to be exciting! If God gave you everything you wanted, you probably wouldn’t be standing here today. So embrace the good times and the bad because every bump in the road will be a lesson for you. Finding new and healthy outlets in sobriety for negative and difficult emotions gives you the ability to help another alcoholic get through a similar situation down the road.
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Freedom From Addiction
If you have found yourself suffering in addiction, you are not alone! If you are ready to change your life and live free of addiction, then FindAddictionRehabs.com can help. We give you the jump start to recovery as well as teach relapse prevention including learning healthy outlets in sobriety . Our program is unique in that it doesn’t just treat the addiction, it treats the whole person. For more information on our program, call 1-877-959-7271 today.