Sobriety and recovery. While the distinction between the two may be confusing to the general public, anyone who has participated in a treatment program for addiction will understand that there is a major difference between being “sober” and being “in recovery.”
Sobriety Without Recovery
Sobriety without an accompanying support structure and program is also called “white knuckling.” These people may be staying away from drugs and alcohol, but they have not addressed the issues that contributed to their addiction in the first place. These can include past traumas, living situations, and negative influences.
They also have not developed healthy coping mechanisms to replace the urge to use. Many people who consider themselves to be sober from drugs may instead swap to drinking when times are tough. They could also turn to behavioral addictions, such as gambling or binge eating.
Because of the lack of support, the position of those who are only sober is precarious. Some people may stop drinking or using cold turkey, but without serious introspection and deep work, the roots of one’s addiction have not been healed. Similarly, they are at risk of relapse because of their lack of coping mechanisms. Any major life event or personal tragedy could tip the scales and disrupt one’s sobriety.
How Your Life Changes: Sobriety vs. Recovery
Someone who is in recovery, on the other hand, has addressed all of these factors. The physical, mental, and spiritual concerns that contributed to their addiction are all alleviated. This is accomplished through a series of therapeutic interventions and consistent group sessions, which provide perspective and insight to one’s personal history. Through a combination of social and medical intervention, people in recovery have worked to craft an entirely new mindset free of drugs and alcohol.
When people are in active addiction, their whole lives become oriented around their substance of choice. In fact, one of the key indicators that someone has a problem is an emerging pattern of devoting more and more time to obtaining, using, and recovering from drugs or alcohol. Ongoing treatment and abstention will dispel this obsession over these substances and will allow those in recovery to focus on other things, such as friends, family, and career success. By eliminating the hold that addiction has over you, you will be able to start over again and build the life you want.
Support is another key differentiation between sobriety and recovery. Isolation is a hallmark of addiction – breaking this habit and creating open communication is vital to sustained recovery. By regularly attending AA or NA meetings, as well as alumni events put on by your treatment center, you will ensure that any potential hurdles or personal crises do not occur in isolation. In addition, you’ll establish relationships with a sponsor and supportive, sober family members. These are people you can call when you experience cravings, need advice, or could use a sober companion for a potentially triggering social gathering. You will ensure your own accountability and preserve your hard-won sobriety.
Benefits of Recovery
In summary, there are many benefits that are exclusive to recovery. By deciding to pursue this lifestyle, you will…
- Break the cycle of addiction.
- Work through underlying issues.
- Educate yourself on addiction.
- Feel better, mentally and physically.
- Heal from past traumas.
- Explore new or once-loved hobbies.
- Build healthy habits.
- Develop friendships and a sober support network.
- Improve your quality of life.
- Repair strained relationships.
- Free yourself from withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Understand that addiction is a disease that can be managed.
- Learn how to set boundaries.
- Discover coping mechanisms for tough times.
- Get your life back.
Lasting Recovery Is Possible – We’re Proof of It
Makana Path is the intersection of detox and intensive healing. Depression, anxiety, and untreated trauma can manifest in myriad ways, including addiction, relapse, and codependency. Makana Path’s innovative approach treats the underlying causes of self-destructive patterns and paves the way to a sustained, rewarding life of recovery. To learn more about how recovery can change your life, call 1-866-905-4550 today.