Relapsing is a common and normal part of addiction recovery. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that the relapse rate for substance use
Why Facing Activities Sober Feels Difficult
December 9, 2019
Getting clean and sober may feel like the hardest step on the journey, and in a very real sense, it is. It’s waking up to a reality you’ve pushed away for a significant amount of time. But after treatment, there is another reality every person must face and that’s sobriety. What does it mean to be sober? What does a sober life look like?
For some, this question provokes intense fear. How will I ever go out without drinking again? Will I ever have fun without alcohol? Will I lose my friends? What will my daily routine consist of? All these questions are valid, but if we pigeonhole our concept of sober with questions like these, we can also push ourselves right back into the cycle of drinking. However, there is real beauty in getting sober. Living a sober life means starting over and creating the life of freedom you’ve been dreaming of, one day at a time.
Shifting Our Perspective Away From Alcohol
The word sober has a positive connotation, but the imagery that follows can seem drab if alcohol was once an anchor for your reality. To the alcoholic, life without alcohol seems impossible because it’s everywhere. From restaurants to concerts, from airplanes to family parties, it can feel like there is no way to escape it. Why does it feel like alcohol is everywhere we go?
In one sense, it’s kind of true. You can purchase alcohol at a lot of public places, but there is also a mental shift that needs to be acknowledged when it comes to changing our lives. Think about the concept of the “frequency illusion.” This concept states that when an idea or item is at the forefront of your mind, you begin to see it everywhere. Because you’re focused on it, consciously or unconsciously, it seems as though this thing, in this case, alcohol, is the center of all that you do. It’s like if someone told you to think about a red car and then showed you a bunch of different pictures of red cars. Now, when you get back on the road, all of a sudden you see a million red cars. Are there really more cars on the road? No, but because you’re hyper-focused on the idea of a red car, the idea feels like it’s manifesting in reality.
When it comes to alcohol, this concept can also be true, especially when it comes time to get sober. It can feel like alcohol is the red car, and every time you leave your house, you see it. But after some time in treatment and some self-work, you learn to see the world and your everyday environments free from substance. Why? Because through treatment and self-work, you begin to shift that center away from something external, the alcohol, and focus that attention on what matters most—your well-being. The focus is no longer the red car. The focus is getting healthy and staying that way.
What Are You Afraid Of?
To shift your preconceptions of drinking, ask yourself, why does it feel difficult to do things sober? Why is the bar more important than bowling, a beer more important than the football game, or a glass of wine more integral to an art gallery than the art itself? There is no one right answer, but when a person does not want to face a sober reality, it usually means the person is suffering in some way. Maybe it’s due to a mental health issue or maybe their pain stems from repressed trauma. To get to the root of your drinking, it means having an honest conversation about why you’re afraid to look at reality for what it really is.
Once we ask ourselves why doing certain activities drunk is “more fun” or simply “necessary,” we can start to get to the root of addiction’s grasp. What’s the worst thing that can happen doing ______________ sober? Why is focusing on an activity anxiety-provoking?
Facing Our Sober Fears
When facing life with clear eyes, it can be hard to adjust to the sun. We feel blinded by our thoughts, our fears, and our expectations of the world. We can even get blind-sided by feelings we didn’t even know existed. But it’s in this space of fear that we can begin to heal and realize the monster under our bed was never there to begin with. In fact, we created the monster. And since we created it, only we have the power to make it disappear. However, battling the monster never has to happen alone.
Being sober means going bowling with friends and drinking water. Being sober means going to a concert and drinking a coke. Being sober means going for a walk and reading on a Friday night instead of going out with coworkers. It’s okay if these realities feel too difficult to face. That’s why the Summer House Detox Center exists. We are here to help you detox safely and shift your perspective away from alcohol to a sober-centered life. We offer alcohol detox in West Palm Beach and provide all the tools required for your recovery. Call (800) 719-1090 today to learn about our various treatment options or visit us at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161.
The idea of making it through the holiday season without drinking can be overwhelming for people who have recently completed an alcohol rehab program. For