‘4 Tips for Super Sobriety’ by Beth Burgess

beths-storyHere are some real words of wisdom from Beth Burgess

‘In the early days of recovery, hanging onto your sobriety is pretty much the main priority in your life. But  in order to be sober and happy, you have to make an effort to grow as a person. Here are 4 elements that you can work on to ensure you have super-sobriety. Doing the following things will help you grow stronger and happier in your recovery.

Learn To Let Go
Addiction is an disease of stuckness. We get stuck in the cycle of using drink or drugs, and we also get stuck with our moods, grievances and resentments.

Recovering addicts can not afford to become too stressed out, because stress makes relapse more likely. The world will always be full of adverse experiences. We have to learn to let go of them, so they don’t waste our energy or make us stressed.

Next time you’re fretting over a gossiping friend, your lost car keys or missing out on promotion, put things in perspective. Realise how you’re only harming yourself by getting worked up over small things.

Wouldn’t it feel more freeing to forgive, learn your lesson, and move on? Learning to look at things differently can help you to let go more easily.

Free Yourself From Judgement
One of the reasons we suffer in life is because we’re too concerned with looking outwards and worrying about the rest of the world. We compare ourselves to others and worry that we’ll come up short, or we do the opposite and think critically of others and the way they live their lives.

Wouldn’t it be freeing to stop judging yourself by external standards, instead choosing only to improve yourself day by day.

And how liberating to stop judging others, and just accept them for the way they are. We can’t change other people anyway, so we should focus our energy on just being the best that we personally can be.

Sit With Your Stuff
When people are in active addiction, what they are basically doing is trying to block out unpleasant feelings.

Even if you’ve stopped using drink or drugs to mask or change your mood, often you may still be doing things to alter the way you feel. Recovering addicts typically cross-addict to other things, using work, caffeine, sugar or sex as new ways of fighting their feelings.

There’s nothing wrong with soothing or distracting yourself when you’re hurting sometimes, but you become a much stronger person if you can learn to “sit” with some of that pain without doing anything to assuage it.

When things are hard, see if you can just sit still and accept it, without needing to turn to other substances or distractions. Keep yourself safe by starting with only slightly unpleasant feelings until you get stronger.

Feed Your Soul
In the early days of recovery, we usually play it safe and stay within fellowship and recovery groups. That’s a really useful approach when you’re newly sober, but it can limit you a lot later on. Never moving outside of recovery circles means that you may never find out what really makes you tick and gives you a sense of meaning in the world.

In order to lead a fulfilling life you have to find out what makes you happy, what your values are, and how you can contribute to the world in a way that makes you feel great.

Some find joy in helping others, or find fulfilment down a spiritual path, while others discover that they really connect with the world when they’re being creative.

Sobriety is just the start of your new life. You must learn to feed your soul with what it needs, too.

Move beyond the limits of recovery-focused activities to find out what will fulfil you and set your soul on fire. If you find something that fulfils your deepest needs, it’ll be so much easier to be sober and happy.

Why not check out Beth’s Story, Recovery Guide and Reflections.