Trying to Get Sober but Can’t? You Could be Making One of These 5 Mistakes.
Feel like you can’t get sober? Wanting to get sober and actually doing so are two very different things. Addiction works against you, and if you aren’t careful, you could end up sabotaging your own efforts. Here are a few mistakes that could be holding your recovery back.
For those struggling with addiction, getting clean and sober is one of the single most important things we’ll ever accomplish. But it’s also singularly difficult. This has everything do with addiction being a brain-based disease. Long-term use leads to major changes, and this makes it all the more difficult for a person to maintain prolonged sobriety.
But at The Cabin Sydney, we’ve seen it proved over and again that getting clean and sober really is possible. Doing so always involves overcoming personal hurdles and mental blocks that are holding you back. To that end, here are five recovery mistakes that you could be making:
1. Focusing on the Wrong Things
Addicts have a habit of shifting the blame, and this can get ugly – especially in situations where they try to blame those closest to them for their behaviour. But this is only one aspect of blame-shifting. Another form of blame-shifting in the worldview of an addict has to do with blaming the substance, rather than the disease.
For those struggling with alcohol addiction, the alcohol is not really the problem. For substance abusers, the substance is not the problem. It’s just a substance. The real problem is the brain-based disease of addiction. Shifting your focus to the disease (instead of vilifying the substance) will help you better position yourself for a successful recovery. It’s a subtle but important step that helps you understand that getting better (and staying better) begins with treating yourself.
2. Trying to Moderate Your Use
As addicts, it’s so easy for us to convince ourselves that all we really need to do is moderate our drug use. For example, we might tell ourselves that if we can stop drinking for only two months, we’ll then be capable of reintroducing social drinking at the weekends or on special occasions. It seems like a reasonable enough proposition, but it rarely works.
The problem here is that our addictive patterns of behaviour have become well-ingrained in our neural pathways. It’s like a well-worn ski path on an alpine slope. Even if we give the path time to rest and let fresh snow fall on top of it, those worn-down grooves are still there in the ice. When you’re back on the slope again, you’ll quickly fall back into those old grooves. That’s how the disease works.
3. Mourning the Loss of the Substance
When you’re addicted to alcohol, a substance or even an addictive process such as gambling, the object of your addiction becomes the single-most important thing in your life. You organise your day-to-day activities around the opportunity to use. The rituals that lead up to using are every bit as exciting (if not more so) than the actual act of using, itself.
Needless to say, getting clean and sober presents you with a drastic change to your daily behaviours. It can even be a bit traumatic. You may find yourself mourning the loss of alcohol and drugs. This grieving is compounded by the fact that the places you used to go and the people you used to hang out with are no longer part of your life. Do your best to try and reframe this as a cause for celebration, and commit to staying strong.
4. Trying to Quit Without Preparing
We just mentioned how dramatic a change of life getting sober is. This is not the type of thing that a person takes lightly or commits to offhandedly. If your recovery is going to be successful, then it’s going to require some dedicated planning.
This is what makes a recovery practice so important. Once you actually make the decision to get clean and sober, you must follow this up with well-crafted strategies on how to continue with that decision. In an addiction treatment programme at The Cabin Singapore, you’ll learn how to implement techniques like mindfulness meditation in maintaining your sobriety. You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with recovery fellowships in your hometown that help you maintain your recovery over time. Early planning and preparation make all the difference when it comes to maintaining long-term recovery.
5. Losing Track of Why You Quit Drinking or Using
This trap is easier to fall into than you probably think. You’ve found yourself at a crossroads; you’ve committed to getting sober; you may have even stayed clean for several weeks or months. Then all at once, it all comes undone. You’ve effectively lost the motivating reason behind your desire to get clean and sober. In so many words, you forgot why you quit.
This is one of the reasons that journaling in recovery is so important. Among other benefits, journaling can help you maintain stronger accountability over time. You’ll find yourself being more honest with yourself – and less capable of downplaying the damage that your addictive behaviour previously inflicted on you and your loved ones.
We Can Help You Strengthen Your Recovery
If you’re trying to quit – even unsuccessfully at this point – then you’ve already taken a very important first step. Let The addiction treatment experts at The Cabin Singapore help you develop a comprehensive recovery plan from there. Contact us through our website or by calling us on +65 3158 0574 for a confidential, no-obligation consultation.