Setting Expectations for Yourself in Sobriety: The Do’s and Don’ts

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If you’ve lost yourself to an addiction, the concept of sobriety can be a hard one to grasp. You may not remember what it feels like to live a life free from the influence of drugs or alcohol. The idea of achieving sobriety may even feel a bit intimidating, as if you’re venturing into unknown territory.

You’ll experience countless physical, emotional, and mental changes. Some will be positive and some might make it feel almost impossible to maintain sobriety. What are some realistic things to expect from this new, sober version of yourself?

Do: Expect Great Things to Happen

Recovering from addiction is an amazing achievement. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, so celebrate yourself for it. You have a lot to look forward to: your quality of life will be so much better than it was when you were under the control of drugs or alcohol.

After achieving sobriety, your potential is endless. More possibilities than ever before have been opened to you, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to options for your career or your relationships.

Keeping a positive mindset can help you set the right tone for your future. This might be something you experienced to be true while you were undergoing treatment.

Don’t: Expect Sobriety to Be a Magic Fix

Getting used to your new life may be an adjustment at first. While your future is bright, the fact that you’re sober now won’t undo any damage that was done back when you were still struggling with your addiction. 

Addiction is toxic, and many areas of your life may have been strained. You’ll likely still have to work to heal relationships with friends or family that were affected by your addiction. Luckily, the simple fact that you cared enough to complete treatment and get sober is a big step to showing your loved ones you’ve changed.

You may also still be working on healing your relationship with yourself. Without substances to numb your feelings, you might still be learning how to deal with them in a healthy way. Use the tools you learned in treatment to stick to your commitment to sobriety, and you’ll find it gets easier over time.

Do: Brace Yourself for Challenges Maintaining Sobriety

It’s an unfortunate fact that people in their first year of sobriety have the highest chance at experiencing a relapse in their addiction. Perhaps certain triggers were impossible to get rid of, or maybe some old habits were harder to break than you initially expected.

Accepting that you’re only human and probably will experience challenges at some point in your sobriety puts you in a place to see obstacles as opportunities rather than setbacks. 

By understanding that some days or situations may be harder than others, you’re creating the right mindset to deal with any challenges that may arise. Feeling the temptation to drink or use again doesn’t mean you’ve failed, and neither does a relapse

No matter how difficult some days may be, the decision to get sober will be the best one you’ve ever made.

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