How to Prepare Yourself Mentally to Get Sober
When looking at substance use disorder as a spectrum, the most desirable end is sobriety, which can be interpreted as a life without the perturbation of substance abuse. The least desirable end will always be addiction. Going from one end to the other isn’t always easy for people who fall into alcoholism or drug dependence. The factors that drive someone to addiction can become barriers to sobriety, and this is when mental preparation is essential. There are various thought processes that can be applied to prepare for the journey toward recovery and sobriety, and many of them are part of the 12-step program at the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Be Pragmatic with Expectations & Decisions
Firm intentions beyond the desire to get clean and sober should be clearly established at the start of the journey. There needs to be a practical understanding of wishes and decisions. An addict who wants to quit isn’t the same as an addict who makes a decision to quit. This is a decision that cannot be made while under the influence, and the commitment along with the expectations should be the kind that can be put into practice. Obviously, decisions are harder to make than wishes because the former imply thinking about multiple potential outcomes that may not always be positive. Nonetheless, hoping for sobriety instead of deciding to pursue it is a terrible way to start.
Let Professionals Guide the Mental Process
Counselors who specialize in substance abuse treatment prepare their patients for what they may face during their journeys toward sobriety. Listening to the assessments and recommendations of counselors is one of the easiest and best ways to prepare for sobriety. To this effect, the best results are obtained by individuals who ask specific questions, such as what their daily routines will be after they enter sober living housing, such as a Solana Beach sober living facility. Patients who go through talk therapy sessions should make it a point to ask counselors for help with introspection, analysis, and meditation. Circumstances that lead to substance abuse are often motivated by errors in thinking. However, these can be corrected through behavior modification techniques. If such errors aren’t amended, they may get in the way of sobriety.
Make a Master List of Reasons for Sobriety
This thought process ties into the one above and can build confidence. It’s widely practiced in AA and counseling offices around the world because it helps many addicts in terms of staying focused. In essence, the master list should provide deeply personal answers to the question “Why am I doing this?” The most common reasons are health, relationships, and money, but there are countless others directly related to the gifts of sobriety. Many addicts start out with short lists that are later expanded with specific details and goals. The idea is to have pieces of paper or digital documents those in recovery can embrace and return to whenever they second-guess their commitments.
Stay Focused on the Future
Focusing on the future is hard for a lot of people, but it’s crucial when attempting to achieve sobriety. The past and its associated memories are always at the center of addiction, and they can hinder any attempt at change, so they need to be let go and replaced by a pragmatic view of the future. Those who choose to use their thoughts to focus on what comes next will find it easier to practice positive thinking and increase their ability to think critically and clearly. This is an ability that can be found at the heart of sobriety.
Being mentally prepared is a crucial aspect of a successful journey toward sobriety. If you’re newly sober and you need help with avoiding relapse, call on the compassionate team at Casa Pacifica. Along with providing Solana Beach sober living housing for men, we work with our individual residents to develop customized plans that integrate treatment, aftercare, and recovery support. Our services include sober companionship, coaching, and mentorship for those who are recovering from addiction to alcohol and other drugs. For more information about our sober living facilities, call us today at (760) 230-2996.