It's Okay to Be the Sober Guy
The act of drinking is deeply rooted in our culture as a social, therapeutic, and recreational commodity. If you’re not drinking, you’re not really living! So the opinion goes. That’s the attitude you’ll encounter throughout your recovery journey, especially when you start to feel guilty or awkward for being the lone ranger of your group that isn’t drinking or using drugs. You start to doubt your ability to be the sober guy.
On top of all the pressure, you have an addiction. Resisting the urge to drink will necessitate a strict code of honor.
Know Your Mission
Never, ever drink—that’s your mindset, 24/7. Maybe your friends can’t have fun without drinking–or at least that’s what they think–but you can. If you’re feeling like a downer, walk away.
Respect the Process
At some point in your recovery, you may be accused of “trading one addiction for another.” If it’s a supportive peer with hurt feelings, don’t get too upset. Therapy, group meetings, volunteer work, and other forms of aftercare can be hard on friends and family because they occupy a lot of the recovering addict’s time and focus.
However, if that person simply disagrees with the pursuits in which you’re engrossing yourself–political, religious, etc–just ignore them. It’s fine to debate your opinion; it’s not okay to challenge someone’s right to have one–especially if their passion is keeping them preoccupied and sober.
Let go of guilt
For many recovering alcoholics, improvements in thought are quickly dominated by feelings of guilt and shame. As you get sober and your world becomes clearer, so does the reality of the mistakes you made in the past.
After everything your family and friends went through to get you into treatment, it’s natural for you to feel a little shame. It’s essential that you move past it, though, because the people who care about you don’t want you to feel shame. They want you to get better, which is why they put you there.
Alcoholism is a confusing problem for any sufferer to tackle. On one hand, you have a serious desire to stop drinking. On the other hand, the mere thought of going sober sends a cold chill down your spine. You’ve become hardwired to seek that comfort—to reach for that bottle of liquor—whether it helps or not. Alcoholism treatment is a matter of reprogramming these natural responses.