10 Lessons Addiction Sobriety Teaches Us
In sobriety, we learn many lessons and these lessons can be applied to all areas of life. These are ten of the lessons I have learned from addiction sobriety.
Addiction Sobriety: My Favorite Lessons
1. We Can Redeem Ourselves
I like the idea that we can redeem ourselves in this life. That at any moment we can make changes in how we are living, and choose going forward to live a new way. Our actions right now, in the present will not erase the past, but will help create a new life, full of healing, love, accountability, being present, and being authentic.
2. We Have Choices
We have choices. We can choose today to use or we can choose to stay sober. No matter how strong the cravings or urges, we have options. We can go to meetings, reach out for support, and utilize our healthy coping skills. Addiction also teaches us that life is precious. We can choose to learn and utilize a healthy coping skill versus use.
3. We Need to Be Mindful of Emotions and Feelings
The biggest and most rewarding lesson recovery and sobriety have taught me is how it is okay to feel our feelings. To understand our feelings will not break us, kill us, ruin us; they may be uncomfortable, but we need to embrace and learn how to name and feel our feelings.
4. Mistakes are Part of the Journey
Whether this means a slip, a relapse, or a fight with our loved ones, it is absolutely normal to make mistakes. What matters, is that we learn from our mistakes and our struggles, and be willing to try new ways and never give up. Recovery and sobriety isn’t easy, it takes work, time, effort, and being open to falling down and standing back up. Life is a journey, not a destination.
5. Reaching Out for Help is a Strength Not a Weakness
Being able to say “I need help” is a huge sign of strength. Our addictions love to live in the dark corners, and stay hidden. Silence is dangerous for those in sobriety. Being able to reach out, ask for help, is the way to not let the struggles have free rent in our heads.
6. Relationships May Be a Challenge
Sobriety is a challenge, because often we are learning who we are, and having to relearn how to live. If we are in a relationship, the dynamics very well may change, and if we start a relationship, we are often focusing outward instead of on our own recovery. It takes a lot of learning in establishing boundaries, creating opening lines of communication, and emotional regulation in fights.
7. Addiction Can Be A Gift
I know this sounds crazy at first. Addiction is awful, it kills people, it ruins families, but it can also be a gift. If I had not gone through my struggles, and gone through recovery and sobriety I may not have been as empowered to constantly re-adjust and re-align the life I want to live. I feel I am in the driving seat of my life, capable of making decisions, facing my life versus running away from problems.
8. Giving to Others Gives to Ourselves
When I had over a year of sobriety and recovery, I decided to start giving back to communities that needed support. I felt there needed to be more voices in recovery, sharing their stories, their voices, to help not only reduce stigma but to give hope to others that recovery is not only possible, but happening to many others in the world.
I know for me, helping others has helped keep me sober and in recovery. It provides a sense of community, sharing of struggles, and helps me be mindful of the life I live, and the road I am traveling.
9. Healing Takes Time
Sobriety is just the first step in a healing relationship with yourself and others after a history of addiction(s). A lot of the work is done after we enter recovery, and after we get sober. We have to take time, and that is done by seeking professional support, learning new healthy coping skills, incorporating a new way of living, joining support groups, and many other paths.
10. One Day at a Time
Life can often be overwhelming, but if we focus just on today, and what we need to do, it helps keep life manageable. We only live in the present, and doing our best in the present is enough. An entire life of sobriety can be overwhelming, but saying “just for today” makes it not only possible but doable.
What lessons have you learned in sobriety?
Sebelius, K. (2011, June 9). 10 Lessons Addiction Sobriety Teaches Us, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/debunkingaddiction/2011/06/10-lessons-addiction-sobriety-teaches-us