Addicts may not be used to the long list of everyday maintenance that accompanies a sober lifestyle.   Attention must be given to even the most mundane details of life to maintain balance and get things done in a timely manner. Emotions, responsibilities and even planning a vacation can no longer be approached in an unstructured way.

Handling Emotions

It is essential in sobriety to practice keeping the emotions in check that have gone unregulated and concealed by substance abuse. Long-term sobriety requires emotional regulation. This involves knowing when to engage one’s emotions and when a distraction is necessary instead. As the article suggests, meetings, prayer and exercise are all good distraction. When ready, examination of the past should be done slowly and carefully so as not to trigger damaging or harmful emotions that may lead to relapse.

Get the Worry Out

A practice that has been found helpful is allowing for “worry time.” A few times a day taking 15-20 minutes to think about only worries can help keep anxieties in check and can be a good reminder of reasons why one works so hard to remain sober.

Rewards and Responsibilities

Recovering addicts are no longer plagued with the expenses that previously aided in the purchase of alcohol and/ or drugs. The money saved should be used to increase the quality of living. Responsibilities can seem endless but expressing gratitude in daily life can shift focus from negative to positive and strengthens resolve. Getting a manicure, a new set of golf clubs, furthering education or whatever makes life more relaxing and easier to deal with can be on the agenda too. The possibilities are endless and everyone needs a reward from time to time.
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