The Five Biggest Mistakes When Trying To Get Sober

I Don't Need A Program/I Can Do This By Myself

One of the biggest mistakes a newly sober person can make is thinking they can stay sober by themselves without working a 12-step program. Many people think that they can still do all the things that they used to do; only they won't drink and use. It is absolutely imperative that once someone gets sober they must forget about their old life. They must say goodbye to their old using buddies, hangouts, and all the people, places and things associated with using. Sobriety is all about a new life. The excuse that they are sober now and so what if they hang out with their old friends if they're not drinking or using. What's the harm, they say. Being sober doesn't just mean not drinking or using. It is a lifestyle. And like any other lifestyle it takes time to get into the swing of it. That means not hanging around with people who are still using.


Over Confidence

Another mistake newly sober people make is being over confident. It's one thing to get cleaned up for seven to 28 days in a detox or rehab when you have nothing but sobriety to think about. But it's quite another thing to be out on your own and have to deal with life on life's terms. You better have a support group that you can count on because even if things are going well right now, that pink cloud will inevitably disappear and you will have to face life's challenges as a sober member of society. The idea that one can get sober by themselves is a very common mistake. It is a very rare person who can stay clean without the support of other recovering alcoholics and a 12-step program.

One of the most important things a person can do in order to maintain sobriety is to have a strong support group of 12 step meetings so one can fellowship with other sober people. A person trying to stay sober needs to spend quality time on themselves and their program. A great way to do that is to check into a long-term structured recovery or sober living home. One that has a 12 step based program. One that will also work with the resident to help them ease back into society and the workplace while still living in the recovery home. In this way, management can help the resident deal with the issues as they come up. It can be overwhelming for someone new in sobriety to have to deal with the stresses of work and home that's why it's so important to have a strong support group.


Getting A Sponsor That Co-signs Your Agenda

Another common mistake that a newly sober person will make is getting a 12-step sponsor who doesn't confront the sponsee on their old behavior. Basically co-signing whatever they want to do. You need a strong sponsor who will give you the direction you need not necessarily what you want. It is very important for someone who is newly sober to be willing to take direction especially when it goes against every old instinct. It is about surrendering what you want and listening to someone else. Addicts and alcoholics have the illusion that they're in control of the people, places and things around them. A big part of working the 12-steps with a sponsor is giving up the urge of wanting to be in control and having to agree with direction beinggiven before doing it. The failure of many newly recovering alcoholics to do this often leads to them not following direction and ultimately wrecking their sobriety. A structured program in a long-term sober living home is a great way to start to learn how to listen, trust and take direction from people who have long-term sobriety.


Families & Loved Ones Continue To Get In The Way Of Recovery.

This is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes newly sober people and their families make.Families & friends who won't go to Alanon and continue to sabotage their loved ones recovery. The destructive cycle of dysfunctional behavior and interaction between the addict/alcoholic and loved ones who have been trying to help, obvious without much success, has been going on for so long and has been repeated over and over again, that it is nearly impossible for anyone involved to begin the healing process without going through a 12-step program. Many times as the addict/alcoholic begins the process of recovery they will start to grow emotionally and spiritually, sometimes by leaps and bounds. But when family members do not work a 12-step program such as Alanon for their own well being, they stay stuck in the old family dynamic, not realizing that they may be sabotaging the very people they are trying to help. A good structured sober living home has strong family involvement with a continuous program of family meetings and encounter sessions. In this way residents and their families can focus on how and why their old behaviors and relationships were dysfunctional and destructive. Once these behaviors have been pointed out, the healing process can beginwith the ultimate goal being the addict's continued sobriety and an emotionally healthy family dynamic.


I Don't Need To Be In A Sober Living Home

How many times does an addict/alcoholic have to relapse before they realize that their best thinking isn't getting them sober? The idea that one can stay sober by just going to 12-step meetings doesn't work for many people. This is a very common mistake made by alcoholic/addicts and their families. Most Alcoholic/addicts have little or no structure in their lives, can't take direction and are unwilling to surrender their so-called freedom. So why would they go out of their way and try to get clean on their own when they don't have to? As long as they can still run their game on their families and friends they'll continue to take the easier, softer way. But the fact is, their lives are a train wreck, totally unmanageable and their perception of themselves is so completely off the mark. The bottom line is, if they could have stayed sober by themselves or just by going to 12-step meetings, they would have done it by now. Until the addict/alcoholic is forced to make the choicebetween the streets, jail or a recovery home, they will continue to lie and manipulate loved ones and family members. That is why it is vital for family members and loved ones to close the door on the addict and stop the cycle of enabling the addict/alcoholic by getting them into a structured program. This is when a sober living or recovery home can make all the difference in the world.


Back to the top

©2008, Addiction Recovery Homes
Links | Sitemap