In rehab, we learned that self-care and a willingness to be honest about our thoughts and emotions are essential to maintaining sobriety and well-being. As you continue your recovery journey, there are some common myths about sobriety that you should be aware of. Acknowledging these myths will help you fight self-deceit and remember what is true in times of doubt or uncertainty.
1. You have to do it on your own.
Maintaining your sobriety isn’t about bearing all the struggles of life on your own or proving to someone else that you are strong enough to do it alone. Maintaining your sobriety is very much about teamwork, compassion, and supporting others, just as you are supported by them. Research consistently backs the benefits of peer support groups in addiction recovery and one recent study found that those who participated in peer support groups showed higher rates of abstinence and increased satisfaction with their treatment program. Participation in peer support groups was also associated with decreased relapse rates and fewer people returning to lifestyles of homelessness.1,2
Sober living programs, such as those offered by Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, are designed to help you connect with others and develop meaningful relationships with your peers in recovery. As you live alongside your peers and learn to support one another and hold each other accountable, you’ll begin to understand the value of peer support and mentorship, especially in recovery.
2. Being sober isn’t fun.
As you continue along the path to recovery, you may have some people in your life who do not support your decision to be sober. They may tell you that you’re not fun anymore because you’re sober or that they don’t want to hang out with you anymore because you’re boring. If their idea of having fun is using drugs and alcohol, then they probably won’t understand why you would intentionally choose to live a sober life—but that’s okay.
As you mature in your recovery, you’ll come to find that sobriety provides a wealth of great things that your previous lifestyle could have never offered.3 For example, you’ll find great joy and fulfillment in setting and achieving life goals. You’ll learn to love and take care of yourself instead of feeling ashamed, tired, and depressed all the time. You’ll enjoy having deep and honest relationships that last instead of fostering unhealthy, codependent behaviors. In time, you’re sure to find the many lasting benefits of a life in sobriety and you may even find that your definition of “fun” will have changed along the way.
3. Relapsing means you’ve failed.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse defines addiction as a chronic relapsing disease. This means that the risk of relapse is high, although relapse is not always a part of recovery. If you do relapse, it does not mean that you have failed or that your addiction treatment program is not working. It simply means that you need to begin your treatment again (if you have stopped) or try another form of treatment that may provide more support.4
If you completed a drug and alcohol rehab program and relapsed soon after, you can still get yourself back on track. You just need some additional support to maintain your sobriety. Transitional living programs are great for individuals who have completed a rehab program but need some assistance, accountability, and support to continue living a life of sobriety on their own. Recovery support services, structured living homes, regular drug and alcohol testing, and 12-step group involvement are all great forms of treatment that will strengthen relapse prevention techniques and provide opportunities to develop and practice essential life skills.
4. Sobriety will make your life perfect.
It can be tempting to believe that once you get sober, your life will automatically be perfect. Unfortunately, sobriety is just a piece of the puzzle. Even while you’re sober, you’ll still face challenges, experience stress, suffer from loss, and have to deal with difficult life circumstances. But being sober allows you to face those challenges with a clear mind and a strong sense of self-efficacy. Additionally, many of the life skills you learn in rehab and transitional housing programs will prepare you to cope with those stressors without relying on drugs and alcohol to get through them.
5. If you want it bad enough, you can stay sober.
Just as the inability to stop using drugs is not an indication that you lack willpower, the same can be said about maintaining your sobriety.5 While it is important that you are willing to make life changes to stay sober, relapsing does not mean that you lack willpower. It just means you need additional support and time to practice your coping strategies.
Maintaining your sobriety will be a lifelong pursuit, but enrolling in a sober living program after rehab will provide many valuable resources and tools that you will continue to use for years to come.
If you’re ready to continue with the next stage of your recovery, please contact Eudaimonia Recovery Homes today to learn about our transitional housing programs for men and women.