5 Reasons to Stay Sober in Difficult Times

by Beth Leipholtz |

If you’re someone who is in recovery or who has dabbled in recovery, you likely know that it’s not always an easy lifestyle. There are a number of challenges that come with deciding to no longer drink. Sometimes, you may even feel tempted to throw in the towel and pick up a drink rather than push through the difficulties. In times like this, it’s more important than ever to keep your sobriety. Here’s why.

1. Drinking literally will not fix anything.

Even though it may be tempting to drink when things are going wrong or you are going through a rough period, the bottom line is that putting alcohol into your body will not fix anything long-term. Sure, you may forget your problems briefly. The problem is that when you come around, out of the alcohol-induced fog, those problems will still exist. Rather than drinking over situations like this, direct that energy to brainstorming ways you can problem solve in a healthy manner.

2. You may be setting an example for someone else.

You never know who you have inspired. If someone follows your story and has decided to lead a sober lifestyle themselves, they likely look up to you as someone whose footsteps they can follow in. If you decide to throw away your sobriety, it may make them think twice about their own. Instead of giving up and giving in, think about the people who may admire you and how your choices could appear to them. Doing so has a way of shifting your mindset and making you realize your sobriety is about more than just yourself.

A Girl Taking A Selfie Representing Staying Sober

3. You won’t make any rash, irresponsible decisions.

I don’t know about you, but I had a tendency to drink more heavily than normal when I was upset or sad. This way of drinking led me to do and say things that I wouldn’t have said or done while sober. Unfortunately, more often than not, I ended up worse off than I had been before adding alcohol to the equation. The way I viewed myself and the problems I was facing deteriorated even more once alcohol was added. Drinking while upset just fueled the fire and added to the list of problems.

4. You won’t have to face a hangover on top of other problems.

Sure, things may not be the best right now, but think about how much more unmanageable those things would seem with a raging hangover. A pounding head and nausea likely make anything worse than it already was. If you don’t drink, you won’t have to nurse a hangover in addition to trying to muddle through whatever issues you are facing. Such issues are more easily faced with a clear head and healthy body.

5. You’ve put time and effort into staying sober.

Think about it. It likely took a lot of determination to get to the point you are at in your recovery. Why throw that away and start over? It may feel good in the moment, but drinking again isn’t worth it in the long-term. Instead, think about the coping mechanisms you have learned in recovery and apply them to your current situation. Chances are that come tomorrow, the problems you face won’t seem quite as daunting, and you’ll still have your sobriety.

No matter what the impulsive part of your personality may be telling you during the tough times, it’s important to recall why you entered recovery in the first place. Remind yourself that alcohol never solved your problems, it just added to them. Take the time to think through situations before acting without thinking. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

Photo of Beth Leipholtz

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