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Posts Tagged ‘sober’

What Is Emotional Sobriety?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

What Is Emotional Sobriety?An estimated 20 million people in the United States, struggle with a substance abuse disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Unfortunately, only about 10% of these people receive appropriate treatment. Whether you’re struggling to regain your life or well on the road to recovery, you’re probably focused on attaining or maintaining your sobriety. This is a noble goal, but there is more than one kind of sobriety. While your physical abstinence from substances is a vast and important piece of the puzzle, so is your emotional sobriety, which enables you to live a productive and fulfilled life.

Do You Know What Emotional Sobriety Is?

We use the term “emotional sobriety” to describe a state of mind that goes beyond physical recovery. While giving up drugs and alcohol is an important first step, emotional sobriety is essential in maintaining your positive lifestyle change. Emotional sobriety involves honing the ability to cope with your emotions, especially those associated with drug and alcohol use. Our brain defends us from painful realities by creating defense mechanisms. Unfortunately, addicts usually protect themselves from these feelings with drugs or alcohol. Achieving emotional sobriety is essential for maintaining your physical sobriety, as you will be better equipped to handle the negative feelings and events that are an inevitable part of life.

Addicts often feel that detox is the hardest part of getting clean, and this is partially true. Detox is often the most physically rigorous aspect of sobriety. Learning to cope with your feelings along with addressing and resisting temptation is a lifelong battle. Emotional sobriety is the most important part of finding peace with your past actions and finding confidence in your healthy future. An emotionally sober addict will be able to handle their feelings in all of life’s moments and also acknowledge when they need help.

How Can I Achieve Emotional Sobriety?

There’s no magic class or patented method for achieving emotional sobriety, like physical sobriety, it is a constant effort. Your rehabilitation program, however, will likely address emotional sobriety. Group therapy, family therapy, and individual sessions all help you uncover the factors that have been driving your addiction. This allows you to address them without the help of alcohol or drugs. For example, if your addiction arose in the aftermath of a traumatic event, you’ll have to address the negative feelings associated with that event that you’ve been masking with substance abuse.

How Can I Achieve Emotional Sobriety?

Emotional treatment plans are focused on helping you be comfortable in your reality, no matter what it may be. The aim is to help you find your authentic self, both in good moments and in bad. This is a vital part of living a fulfilling life in sobriety.

Each person’s journey to emotional sobriety is a little different. Since no one shares the same struggle, your treatment will also be tailored to your unique needs.  Treatment will involve helping you find and maintain your healthy emotional balance. You will have to accept reality as it is, stop dwelling on past mistakes, and look forward to all aspects of the future.

Why Emotional Sobriety Is Important

Some addicts take charge of their physical sobriety but never learn how to address and process their emotions properly. These people are more prone to relapse. The most successful addicts are the ones who realize their journey to recovery will never end. Recovery is a lifelong fight to resist temptation and address the negative and positive feelings in their life in equal measure. Life is full of challenges, and recovery is focused on being able to cope with them. Emotionally sober people can resist the urge to turn to substances, not matter what they’re feeling. When you’re comfortable in your own skin, you’re more likely to confront your emotions than avoid them with substance abuse.

Think of emotional sobriety as a healthy mindset. It will take work, but this healthy emotional mindset will put you on the road to a healthy life.

Achieving a Healthy Emotional Balance

Addicts struggle to achieve emotional balance more than most. Since intoxicants dull feelings (often purposefully so), addicts experience emotions in hyper drive after finding physical sobriety. Addressing these feelings as they come is an important part of attaining emotional balance. Learning to cope with life’s highs and lows and become present in each moment is difficult. Your sensations may hit you with more ferocity than before, which can throw you back into temptation. You must live consciously and deal with your life, no matter what its terms. This is the emotional balance.

Finding a balanced state of mind is easier said than done. It’s not so much a process as it is a commitment. To start, commit to having a positive outlook on life, no matter what the circumstances. This could include starting a gratitude journal or taking a few moments to think of what you’re thankful for before you go to bed each night. Meditate. Talk to friends. These little things add up over time to create a well-adjusted, positive sense of self.

At the same time, be careful not to create a veneer of happiness that hides sadness underneath. It’s just as important to address painful experiences, as it is to acknowledge positive ones. When you’re feeling low, talk to a friend or your sponsor. Discuss temptation and your continued road to recovery. By putting these feelings out in the open, you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to process and put them into perspective.

Emotional sobriety is not an easy task, but its well worth the effort. Make your commitment to recovery a holistic one, healing your mind, body, and spirit. This enhances your ability to live a long and fulfilling life.

The Treatment Center’s Addiction Treatment Programs Focus on Building Multiple Levels of Sobriety

Alcohol Addiction Resources

Hope Diaries 9: Sober 31 Years

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

This testimonial in the YouTube series, “Hope Diaries,” features Jimmy, an employee of The Treatment Center. In this video, he shares his story of how he entered a life in recovery and why it’s important for others to do so as well.

Jimmy explains, “I always thought you got me drunk. It, situations, they, and all of a sudden I had a realization that I got myself drunk.” Today, he is able to help those who are entering a life in recovery by sharing how it works in his life.

Jimmy and his wife have been sober for 30+ years. Find out how:

We encourage you to share this video with family and loved ones who may be struggling with addiction, or may simply appreciate this powerful story of hope.

Enjoying The Holiday Season

Monday, November 25th, 2013

It is well known that the holidays can be a stressful time in recovery, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. Whether you are staying local or traveling, don’t let the holidays catch you off guard. Be realistic with your expectations, and create a plan to make the upcoming holidays go smoothly. Taking preventative measures to make sure you feel comfortable during the holidays will not only protect your sobriety, but also allow you to enjoy the season.

Keeping it simple is a sure way to eliminate stress during the holidays. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the expectations of family and friends. Whether this means attending less holiday parties or spending less money on presents, know your limits. If given the opportunity, discuss your recovery needs with your family. They may not know what you are able to handle unless you are open with them. If they can’t accept your limitations, that’s okay. Staying clean and sober is your main priority and it’s the best gift you can offer them.

Having an exit strategy before you arrive somewhere is a simple way to relieve some anxieties you may have. Let the host know at the beginning of the party that you may have to leave early. This eliminates the pressure to stay the entire time, and may allow you to enjoy yourself more. Before you travel for the holidays, find out ahead of time where and when you can attend 12-step meetings. If you begin feeling overwhelmed or triggered, you will already have a plan.

There is nothing greater than the gift of giving. With this in mind, consider anonymous giving, helping at a charity event, or lending a hand to friends or family. Being helpful, even in small ways, will not only help you but the people around you. Creating new traditions is a great way to give yourself a fresh start during the holidays. This could be in place of an old tradition or simply to celebrate your new life in recovery.

If you know someone who doesn’t have a place to go this holiday season, invite them along with you. This not only gives them the relief of not being alone, but now you both have someone to rely on for sober support. It will also make you feel good to make their holidays less lonely. Last but not least, take care of yourself! Get enough rest, eat healthy, and relax. Remember, being clean and sober is the best gift you can give to yourself and those around you.


Ideas for Staying Sober in College

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Attending college and staying sober can be a challenge. Alcohol and drugs are easily accessible, and the peer pressure to abuse these substances happens frequently. The good news is, many college campuses are becoming more “recovery friendly.” Since continuing an education is an opportunity that shouldn’t have to wait, we’ve created tips on how to stay sober in college.

Research schools that have recovery programs or are known as “sober schools.”

If you are in the process of choosing a college or university, choose one that is recovery friendly. Research the campus options to see if they have dry housing, sober activities and recovery groups. Texas Tech has gained publicity for the hospitality they extend towards their students in recovery. They offer sober hangouts, 12-step meetings and scholarships for students who earn a high GPA and stay sober. Research schools that are part of the Association for Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE). ARHE provides education, resources and support to collegiate recovery programs. Another resource is the Princeton Review’s list of “Stone Cold Sober Schools,” which can be found here.

Explore appropriate living options on or off campus.

If you attend a college that does not offer sober living, explore your alternative options. Find a roommate who is also in recovery or doesn’t have an interest in drugs or alcohol. If you’re not comfortable living in dorms, find an off-campus apartment with sober peers. Attending an outpatient facility is a great way to continue your care and ease the transition back into your everyday life. Places such as“The Hero House” in Atlanta, GA, are sober living homes geared towards students in early recovery. Take advantage of the support that is available to you.

Set yourself up for success.

Make sure you have a good sponsor, even if only temporary, before you begin attending classes after treatment. Having a sponsor will give you the support needed to stay clean and sober. Identify what 12-step meetings best suit you, and where they will be located in your area. There are 12-step meetings specifically for “young people” in recovery where you can meet peers in the fellowship who understand what you are going through. This is also a great way to start developing your sober support. The stronger you are in your recovery before returning back to college, the more likely you will be to stay sober.

Be proactive!

Once you arrive on campus, it’s important to get connected with the right peers. Begin attending local 12-step meetings, either on or off campus. Find group activities happening on campus that don’t involve drinking. If you don’t find someone in recovery there, you are likely to find others who are simply not interested in alcohol or drugs. If your campus doesn’t offer any recovery events,, take action. Reach out to the office that handles student activity planning to start a club or program for students in recovery.


Staying sober in college can be difficult, but it is possible. With these tips, you can set yourself up for success.


What are the Benefits of Recovery Residences?

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

After a patient leaves an addiction treatment center, it is imperative that they live in a safe and sober environment. For many patients, returning to their previous home is not in their best interest. A recovery residence, also referred to as a sober living home, is sometimes the best option for a person in early recovery.

Listed below are some of the benefits of recovery residences:

  • Recovery residences test residents on a regular basis for drugs and alcohol. Those that test positive will be asked to leave.
  • It allows individuals to transition to everyday life in a clean environment.
  • Residents can focus on their sobriety with limited distractions.
  • Recovery residences allow individuals to develop a regular schedule which creates structure in their lives.
  • Individuals can develop a network of sober friends.
  • Residents benefit from the support of people with similar goals and interests.
  • Recovery residences create a sense of community.
  • For individuals in an outpatient treatment program, it can help them stay on track with their therapy.
  • Recovery residences are based off of the principles of 12 step programs.

Individuals can choose from different types of recovery residences. Typically, recovery residences are designed for a specific population (e.g., gender, age, co-occurring problems). For people of faith, they can also choose to live in a Christian-based recovery residence.

If you live in an environment that is detrimental to your sobriety, we urge you to consider a recovery residence. It may be the solution that you are looking for.


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