In 2016, a study conducted by researchers from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and Stanford University focused on how long alcoholics participated in 12-step programs. The target horizon for the study was 16 years, meaning the findings were gleaned from individuals who could affirm they had been sober for at least that long. On average, these individuals participated in programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous for a year, and not all of them became abstinent despite being sober. What studies such as this one illustrate is that sobriety isn’t monolithic, and it goes far beyond not drinking liquor or getting high.
Definitions of Sobriety
The meaning of sobriety is often associated with abstinence. In fact, the respected Betty Ford Institute adheres to an operational definition of sobriety that’s synonymous with abstinence. You won’t find arguments against this definition. Nonetheless, there’s a modern view of sobriety that expands on total abstinence as a lifestyle choice. Mental health counselors and addiction specialists point out there’s a difference between choosing not to drink and feeling as if you’re deprived of it. Based on this, sobriety gives a new meaning to commitment.
Sobriety as a Lifestyle
Imagine living a life in which you constantly feel mortified and resentful because liquor and drugs are off-limits to you. Most addicts and alcoholics feel this way in the early stages of their journeys toward recovery, but there will come a time when they understand this is no way to live. This is when the conscious choice to be abstinent comes in. If feelings of deprivation are impacting your life, they’ll get in the way of your achieving true sobriety. At Solana Beach sober living housing, you get a taste of practical sobriety, and this is where you begin to learn that hope and enjoyment are vital parts of the process.
Sobriety as Positive Motivation to Abstain
If practicing abstinence didn’t require discipline, substance abuse and dependence wouldn’t be problematic. Discipline is how sobriety is achieved in the beginning, and it can only be managed one day at a time. The act of not drinking must be welcomed at some point, and you should feel comfortable with yourself as well as with others who support your sobriety. A better way of thinking about sobriety is to treat it as the motivation you need to live a better life. Through being sober, you can do more than just avoid intoxication. You have an opportunity to improve your life.
Sobriety as the Key that Unlocks Integrity
There’s no greater path to personal accountability than sobriety. When you choose to stop drinking or using, each minute you spend as a sober person adds to your integrity potential. It’s crucial to get to a level of understanding that makes you realize getting drunk or high is just not for you. As you gradually work your way toward sober goals, you’ll notice it’s easier for you to be honest with yourself and others. Once you feel integrity is helping you abstain, you’ll know sobriety in a very personal sense.
If you’re newly sober and you need help with avoiding relapse, call on the compassionate team at Casa Pacifica. Along with providing sober living housing for men in Solana Beach, 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.