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At Banyan Treatment Centers, we know that professional drug and alcohol treatment programs can make all the difference in someone’s life. Effective programs combine therapy, medically monitored detox, 12-Step programs, and other support services to help patients get and stay sober. But what can be done to help patients with long-term sobriety? We share insight and sober tips from sobriety advocates who have been in your shoes and gotten sober.
The 12-Steps of sobriety are the backbone of many recovery programs. Recovery advocate and writer Mark Goodson shares his insight on the 12-Steps:
“The steps are a ladder, not a staircase; someone needs to hold it. Get a sponsor, or a mentor, or a guide. Don't go it alone,” Goodson says.
Without a supportive community, sponsors, or rehabilitative experts helping you through your journey, it is all too easy to feel that you’re walking the road of recovery alone. Working past addictions and getting sober with support from friends, family, sponsors, and treatment professionals can help build lasting sobriety.
Does sobriety get easier? It depends on the individual and their specific challenges. For many, sobriety gets easier with a strong support system or ongoing therapy. Mindfulness can also help support long-term sobriety as a relapse prevention technique or coping mechanism.
Recovery coach and advocate Dawn Nickel, Ph.D. of SHE RECOVERS shares her sober tips on using mindfulness when feeling overwhelmed. “I go for a walk or take a nap when I get really overwhelmed – or I do a five- to ten-minute mediation if I don’t have a lot of time,” she said.
Mindfulness can help slow things down and allow someone to stop spiraling thoughts or actions. Mindfulness can help someone achieve better control over their thoughts, emotions, or actions allowing for sustained recovery.
“I can practice mindfulness. It's my form of meditation. I get quiet and focus on what I am thinking about. When something comes to mind, I ask “can I do something about this today?” and if the answer is, “yes,” then I do something about it. If the answer is, ‘no,’ then I let it go and tell myself to quit worrying about something out of my control,” Goodson says.
“Going to treatment is a privilege not afforded to all – if you have a chance to do it – grab it. Your life probably depends on it and you will only benefit from it,” Nickel says.
The illusion of rock bottom is one that keeps many people from getting help for their recovery, they hold back from getting treatment because they think things haven’t gotten bad enough yet.