How to Build a Sobriety Tool Box
Whether it’s day one or day 1,475, sobriety is no cakewalk. Sure, overcoming drug addiction gets easier as you move further away from using, but you’ll still have rough days. You’ll have days when all you can think about is using again. So why do you persevere? Because it’s all worthwhile. YOU are worthwhile.
Even though you know this, it doesn’t make the hard days easier.
To get through them, you’ll need every tool in your arsenal. But what if you don’t have an arsenal?
No worries, we’re about to build one together. Your sobriety toolbox is a figurative arsenal of weapons you can use against your negative thoughts and detrimental cravings. Alone, each item on this list may make a dent – but together – they have serious power. On your worst days, go through every item on this list to help you overcome your damaging thought patterns. And if you’re still in a bad place, talk to a counselor.
Your list may look exactly like this one, or it may be similar. Choose items that you think will work best for your habits and personality.
Here are a few things to help you get started on your sobriety toolbox.
- An inspiring quote
Place an inspirational quote on your bathroom mirror (even if it seems cliché). Try to speak it aloud daily to help drill the message into your mind. Choose a quote that resonates with you and your sobriety goals. If you practice this, you may find that your bad days will become fewer and further between over time.
- A sober support
You’ve probably learned about the importance of sober supports in rehab. But now that you’re on your own, it’s crucial that you have someone to call when things get really rough. It could be a family member, friend or AA sponsor. Just designate one or two people to help you through this. And be sure to let them know and accept their role.
- Learn breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are extremely effective for reducing anxiety, which is a major problem for people in recovery. Research various breathing techniques to reduce stress and choose one that you can see yourself doing. Remember, the best breathing exercises are the ones you’ll actually do! If you’re going to be embarrassed to take deep breaths in and moan as you exhale, just choose something subtler.
- Plan a reward
Calculate how much money you previously spent on your addiction. If you can, set that money aside for something special. It could be something tangible like a new television or an experience like a vacation.
- Use essential oils
Scent is a powerful trigger that can ignite your cravings. You’ve probably already experienced this dark side of scent-associations. But it can also work to your benefit. Choose comforting scents like lavender, chamomile or ylang-ylang to calm anxiety and help reduce cravings.
Your toolbox will likely include some of the items listed above, but it’s crucial that this is personalized to you. As you proceed on your journey, you’ll find what helps and what challenges your sobriety. Add the most helpful things to your figurative sobriety toolbox to use when you need them the most.
Trevor is a freelance content writer and a recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.