So how do you stay sober on the worst days? When you use drugs or alcohol on a regular basis, you get used to the quick fix they provide. And any type of day can be used as an excuse to get high or drunk. Maybe you’re feeling stressed out or have a low mood. Or maybe you’re feeling good and want an extra boost. Either way, you’ve come to rely on drugs or alcohol.
However, when you’re sober, you don’t have these substances to fall back on. If you’re having a bad day, you can’t just open a bottle of wine or smoke a joint. You must learn to deal with your emotions head-on.
Everyone Has Good Days and Bad Days in Recovery
In recovery, not every day is going to be an easy one. Unfortunately, some people enter recovery with unrealistic expectations and assume that everything will fall into place once they stop using drugs or alcohol. But it doesn’t work that way.
Recovery is a long journey. In order to stay sober, you will have to face some of the consequences of your addiction, such as fractured relationships and legal troubles. You can’t “escape” things anymore, which is why you need healthier and alternative ways to cope.
During drug rehab, you were likely introduced to a number of coping strategies like deep breathing and meditation, as well as essential life skills. Continue to build on what you learned in treatment by following your aftercare plan, attending your support groups, and committing to an outpatient program if you haven’t already.
Most importantly, prepare yourself for the reality that your journey and effort to stay sober will have ups and downs. But remember that drugs and alcohol are only temporary fixes – they are not the key to living a happy and fulfilled life.
Tips for Getting Through Bad Days
Your emotions and substance use are interconnected. This is why emotions are a major relapse trigger. You might feel triggered to use drugs or alcohol on bad days. Not only are you used to this, but also your brain is trying to convince you that it’s the only way to feel better. This is a trap. Drugs and alcohol only make you feel better for a short time and do nothing to address the problem.
Here are some ways to fight temptation on the hardest days.
- Call your sponsor. If you’ve had a terrible day and feel triggered to use drugs or alcohol, call your sponsor. This is what they’re here for. They can also relate to how you’re feeling and talk you down from your emotions.
- Acknowledge your feelings. Don’t ignore your feelings or push them away. Let them come to the surface so that you can process them. It may be uncomfortable, but this prevents negativity from sitting inside of you.
- Extend your treatment. Some people need more time in treatment to fully heal. This is okay! If you continue to have bad days, you may benefit from outpatient drug rehab. This way, you can protect your sobriety while continuing to heal and learn new skills.
- Practice good self-care. A bad day is a sign that you need to give yourself grace. Get moving, make yourself a healthy meal, watch your favorite movie before bed, etc. This will help you deal with your negative emotions while passing the time.
- Go to a meeting. It’s helpful to be around peers who understand what you’re going through. They can provide you with motivation and support, plus get your mind off using.
- Focus on the positive. When you’re having a bad day, it’s hard to see the positives in your life. But they are there! Write down the things you are grateful for or spend time in nature. This will help you change your perspective.
Trying to stay sober on hard days can be challenging, but rest assured you are not alone. Reach out to your support circle, increase your attendance at your support groups or extend your treatment. And remember that treatment centers like Awakenings Treatment Center are always available for support and guidance.