I envy so-called normal people. There are days when I just want to ditch the responsibility to stay sober. You know, kick off my shoes and party with rest of my colleagues at Happy Hour on a Friday.
While the rewards from making that choice are obviously short-term, temptation is always poking me in the side, especially after a rough day.
Most of the time, I can fight off the temptation fairly easily now. After all, I have been sober for nearly a year, but there is always going to be that one weak moment that could trip me up for the rest of my life.
I needed a contingency plan. Here is what I’ve come up with:
1. It’s Just Not Worth It
All relapse really is, is a temporary diversion, a post-poning of the inevitable, because we can only hide in the bottom of a bottle until we take that last swallow. At that point, we still have to deal with whatever the trigger was this time, and now we are facing it while we are impaired.
2. This, too, Shall Pass
It is important to remember that everything in this life is temporary; nothing lasts forever. This is a good time to reflect on other hardships we have successfully endured. Look at all those life changes we had no idea we could make it through, yet here we are, safe, happy, content, and maybe even a little wiser for it. All those challenges have passed, and this will, too.
3. I Got Sober for a Reason
Lots of reasons, actually. In fact, if I took the time to list all of them, the temptation will have probably passed by the time I finished! Part of getting sober is learning to love yourself and that love reminds me each and every day of all the happiness sobriety has given me and my loved ones. Going back to those dark days of active addiction is simply not an option for me.
I will never forget how awful they were or how much I don’t miss them! The only thing worse than feeling like you have the flu is knowing it’s not the flu combined with the fact that no one cares. I remember going into work feeling like death, and my supervisor was so disgusted with me that she gave me extra work to do.
Relapse carries a stigma even greater than the addiction itself, because now you are viewed by others as being weak and selfish. Most critical, though, is the opinion you have of yourself, which is often times a reflection of what others see in your choices.
6. Mirror, Mirror
When I was drinking, I thought I looked great. The constant consumption of alcohol dulled all of my senses including sight and smell. Then one day, I was scrolling through some old pictures, and I got to one that absolutely horrified me. I couldn’t have been more than 26, but I looked at least 40. It was embarrassing to look at, and just thinking about it has proven to be an excellent deterrent.
7. What About Tomorrow?
It always shows up sooner than we think it will. Relapse is a guaranteed ticket to regret as soon as we open our eyes in the morning. Now you’ve got two issues, whatever problem that led you there and how awful you feel about it and because of it.
Everyone’s sobriety journey is different, however. It is not necessary to memorize mine. Create your own, and see how far you can fly.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a possible addiction to alcohol, or you just have questions, please contact Lighthouse Treatment Center today. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced treatment advisors. Help is available today.