Transitioning From Treatment to Sober Living: Setting Goals
Two of the most difficult steps have already been taken-
You have recognized substance abuse as a problem in your life and sought help through treatment. Now, one must attempt every day to live a sober lifestyle where you must take full responsibility for the course of your life. You must be able to deal with setbacks, frustrations, emotions etc. without giving up and falling back into the old lifestyle. It will not be easy, but the reward will be great.
If you do not have a plan on how you will remain sober- begin to create one. You can set modest goals and activities to achieve these goals. Without a plan or a course of action, you may spin around and feel you are not getting anywhere. While setting goals in recovery are completely based on individual aspirations, there are some basic guidelines that you can follow. Keep it as simple as you need to be sure that you’ll stay with it. Many suggest that you start with broader aspirations like “be a better person” or “be happier” or “be less driven by my emotions.”Then, set specific, attainable, and trackable goals from those. Possible focus areas for personal recovery goals can include things like:
- Basic needs – get a safe and stable environment in which to live, ensure dependable transportation, etc.
- Physical health – establish and follow a daily exercise routine, take medications regularly, etc.
- Spirituality – connect with faith or church groups, practice meditation, be of service to others, etc.
- Education- complete a course that improves your career chances, get a GED, etc.
You do not have to do these things alone. You can seek help through your sponsor, outpatient counseling, recovery meetings, and family and sober friends to name a few. When things in your life do not go smoothly, do not give in to despair, anger and a sense of hopelessness because if you do, relapse is just around the corner. Seek the help and encouragement that you need and a day/week/month later you will laugh at why you were so conflicted. Try to remember that your health, financial stability, family connections, and even your life depend on a mature and steadfast commitment to a sober lifestyle. If you truly want a sober lifestyle, it is achievable.
By Paul M.
Somerville House Manager