A Guide to Sober Living in Canada

Living a sober life

When you make the important decision of living a life of sobriety, many cliché disadvantages of that life choice might start popping in your mind. You might ask yourself, will life ever be fun again? Am I actually capable of living like that? Can I really survive without using drugs or consuming alcohol for the rest of my whole life? And is being sober and living a sober life even worth the sacrifice?

If those questions seem pretty familiar, if those are thoughts that have been going through your mind, we are here to give you some answers, and living a sober life is absolutely worth it. The advantages outweigh the downfalls, and it will actually be one of the best decisions that you could ever make for your own sake and for that of those who love and care for you.

Even though the media and pop culture are glamorizing a life filled with substance abuse, making the use of drugs appealing, and cool, those are not showing you what is actually happening after. They are not showing you the actual aftermath of the use of those substances, and as you might already know, hangovers, are absolutely not fun. Throwing up is not fun too and neither is suffering from a terrible headache or going through withdrawal symptoms

Losing mastery over one’s decisions and falling into those cycles of abuse is absolutely horrendous. It can feel so paralyzing to think that you are no longer in control and that feeling of helplessness is one of the first indicators of a potential addiction problem.

With that being said, keep reading with us to find out how some amazing tricks and pieces of advice to live a long, fulfilling, and sober life.

Know yourself

Knowing oneself, and analyzing the patterns that occur in one’s life is the first step to regaining mastery over one’s habits. As the old saying says, you can’t change what you don’t actually acknowledge, and in order to acknowledge things, introspection and a critical look to one’s self is crucial. The first step to succeeding at living a sober life is identifying your personal triggers.

Ask yourself, what are the people, the places, or the situations that push you into craving your substance or drug of choice. Maybe your triggers are more personal. Maybe they are certain feelings or emotions, like sadness, stress, anxiety, or fear. Once you successfully identify these triggers, you can then create a strategy to either avoid these situations or learn to handle them in a correct way.

Be ready for Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. or PAWS for short happens during the first step of the sober life journey. Depending on your issue, and your type of dependency, you will have to go through a PAWS, which can last from 6-month up to 2 years after you first decide to become sober. You need to know the symptoms in order to be able to identify them and seek the help of those people who are experts in the field. Knowing these triggers, identifying them early on, and seeking help will help you avoid relapse.

Create and maintain new and healthy relationships

Humans are social creatures, and our need for social inclusion is crucial to our well-being. With that being said, we need to feel loved, cared for, seed, and included in our social groups. Probably, and most likely, the people that you have been surrounding yourself with were also indulging in the same self-destructive behaviours. Associating with them still might make the recovery so much harder for you. Surround yourself with positive, healthy-minded people, it much easier for you to be positively impacted by them and continue on walking through the sober life path.

Beware of relapse warning signs

A relapse might sneak up on you, even years after you’ve been sober, however, it cannot sneak on you when you are aware of the warning signs. That usually involves three phases, an emotional phase, a mental face, and a physical phase.

Your thoughts might be returning to the old, vicious cycle of patterns. You might start thinking of engaging in self harm or self-defeating behaviours, you might feel weak, discouraged, and hopeless. You might lose the spark of motivation to continue living your sober life or any other thoughts that are not rational nor responsible.

Identifying these patterns will help you always stay one step ahead, of the game. Do not keep it all to yourself, do not feel ashamed about sharing these thoughts with a loved one or your therapist. The sooner you speak up, the faster you will get help and be back on track.

Get your life in order

Developing a healthy and balanced schedule is key; order in various aspects of your life will always keep you in check. Chaos and mess, on the other hand, might cause you to feel overwhelmed and they can both can hinder and sabotage your recovery. You need to find passions and fill up your time with various, positive, healthy, and enjoyable activities and experiences.

Staying sober is a very high priority, however, scheduling your life and organized and will help you to not only accomplish this priority, but also set up goals, and actually work to achieve them, leading you to live a more happy and overall fulfilling life.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones

Offer help and resources to the people in your life that you think might be going through a substance abuse problem. Take care of your first though, physically and mentally. Relax, meditate, be happy, and know that everything is going to be okay in the end no matter how hard things are at the moment. Exercise regularly, wake up early, and sleep early. Have a healthy and full diet, and try to always get good quality sleep, because in the end, the better that you will take care of your body, the better that it will take care of you.

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