After being addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs for years, getting sober can be extremely difficult. Those first 30 to 90 days can be a struggle, and even the first 6 months sober. At one year sober you start to see that a sober life is indeed a better life.
In this article you’ll read about:
- What it takes to reach one year sober
- What to expect in your first year of sobriety
- Moving into your second year of sobriety
What It Takes to Reach One Year Sober
It takes serious commitment to reach one year sober. That means putting sobriety above everything else in your life.
That may sound extreme, but that’s how it is. If sobriety starts to take a backseat in your life, you’re likely to lose the great things the gift of sobriety has given you.
Building healthy relationships with your children could come to a halt. You might lose that awesome job that just gave you a promotion. Family members who started to trust you may start hiding their valuables again when you’re around.
So what does commitment look like?
Building a support network takes work, which means you need to find recovery meetings to attend. Commit to attending a certain amount of meetings each week.
Programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and SMART recovery have meetings that meet regularly.
12-step fellowships are great because they have meetings every single day. Many groups have morning, afternoon, and evening meetings each day.
A popular suggestion is committing to 90 meetings in 90 days. This creates a healthy routine, and addicts who do this have a higher chance of reaching one year sober.
Listen to what people with more sobriety than you have to say at those meetings. Find someone you relate with and ask them to be your sponsor/mentor. Now you have someone who’s been walking the recovery path for a while who can show you the way.
In addition to a mentor, get phone numbers of other sober addicts in recovery. You should have 10 people in addition to your mentor with whom you can be completely transparent.
While you may attend meetings at a number of groups, you need to establish a homegroup. A homegroup is the 12-step group you attend meetings regularly at. As a member of a homegroup, you can volunteer for a literal “commitment” position. Different commitments could include:
- Facilitating or chairing a meeting
- Greeting people at the door before the meeting starts
- Reaching out to residential treatment centers to bring meetings to
- Putting monthly sober social events together
- Leading a cleanup crew that cleans the meeting hall every Sunday afternoon
Commit to your sobriety like your life depends on it, because it does! This is critical to reaching one year sober.
At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping individuals develop healthier habits and build a life in long term recovery.
Click to learn more.
What to Expect In Your First Year of Sobriety: Challenges and Benefits
In your first year sober, you’ll experience the challenges and benefits that come with being sober. Although the challenges can be tough, the benefits massively outweigh them.
Social situations can be awkward
Many people like the effects of drinking alcohol and using drugs because it makes them feel more comfortable in social situations.
Maybe you were afraid of asking out the prettiest girl at your high school for an entire year. Then, you discovered beer, and under the influence, you mustered the courage to ask her.
At one year sober, you may have tried to still hang out with your friends at the bar on the weekend and felt out of place.
Life can seem boring
Drinking and doing drugs is often equated with having a good time. However, in the last years of addiction, it was anything but. Getting high and drunk and finding ways to keep getting high or drunk is a full-time job.
So what now? You may feel that life is dull and boring. Learning how to have fun in sobriety doesn’t always come easy.
People don’t understand why you don’t drink
When they offer you a drink and you say “no,” they may get offended or at the very least confused. This may lead to them offering you another drink 20 minutes later. In your first year of sobriety, you’ll realize that “no thanks” doesn’t need an explanation.
You don’t wake up hungover or “dope” sick anymore
For an addict, there’s nothing worse than the morning after a night of using drugs or drinking heavily. You may have to muster up the strength to get to the liquor store just to stop the shakes.
If you’re addicted to opiates, you may wake up and find that your drug dealer’s phone is off. Yikes.
At one year sober, you can look back and be grateful that you don’t wake up with a hangover anymore.
You can get up, pray and meditate, drink some coffee, and go to the gym before hitting a noon AA meeting. Your mornings will look much different at one year sober than they did before you got sober.
You’ll develop healthier relationships at one year sober
Relationships with loved ones become strained when you’re active in your addiction. Maybe you yelled at your significant other every time you used or drank. At one year sober, you’ll have coping tools that will help you think before you act.
When there is a disagreement, you can take a deep breath, step back, and communicate how you’re feeling in a healthy way. At one year sober, you’ll be grateful for being able to attend family gatherings without everyone worrying about what state of mind you’ll be in.
You will comprehend the word serenity, and you will know peace
If you’ve been working a good recovery program, at one year sober, you will feel more peaceful. That’s not to say bad things won’t happen. Life is life, but now you are living life on life’s terms.
Moving into Your Second Year of Sobriety
As you move into your second year of sobriety, watch out for complacency. You might feel as if you don’t need to attend your recovery meetings or call your mentor as much. This often leads to a relapse.
You may want to get “back to the basics” at the beginning of your second year of sobriety. Whatever you did in those first 90 days sober, do again. It obviously worked the first time! Stay in gratitude and realize that every day sober is a gift.
Focus more on helping others during your second year of sobriety, especially addicts. By spending time helping newcomers, you’ll never forget the pain and suffering you went through.
Besides, you can help them when others can’t!
IOP at ASIC Recovery
Have you reached one year sober and found that you need some help? Are you looking for substance abuse treatment in Texas?
At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping individuals develop healthier coping skills and build a recovery supportive network in all aspects.
Click to learn more.