Aside from getting sober, imagine you have decided you would like to write a novel. For our purposes here, let’s say you have decided to pen a mystery novel—a murder, a private detective, a twisty plot, an exciting climax, and justice served in the end.
Now imagine that today is the day you have decided to start your project. You get your computer set up and your word processing program open. You have a comfortable chair and a big cup of coffee. There is some nice sunlight streaming in through your window and you have some energetic but not distracting music playing in the background.
You put your hands on the keyboard to start typing.
And then nothing happens.
You give it a second. No need to panic. You are going to write a novel and you are going to start right now.
Only you don’t start. Turns out you don’t know how to start.
You have a goal: write a novel.
What you don’t have is a plan.
Writing a novel is a big goal, and it can be hard to get started on big goals. Sometimes, the key is to break your big goal into smaller steps. Maybe much smaller steps.
For example, the first step in the process of writing your mystery novel might be to come up with a list of characters and their primary characteristics and motivations.
Of course, we’re not really here to give advice about writing novels (but here’s someone who might be able to help if you actually decide to write that mystery novel).
We’re here to give advice about getting and staying sober.
Different Project. Same Advice.
You have decided you want to get—and stay—sober. Today is the day you plan to start. You think you have set yourself up to succeed. But then you find yourself at loose ends, and soon enough you have a drink in your hand. What happened?
You have a goal: get sober and then stay sober.
What you don’t have is a plan.
Getting and staying sober is a big goal, and we have noted how hard it can be to get started on big goals. But our advice remains the same: sometimes, the key is to break your big goal into smaller (even much smaller) steps.
What might those steps be? We have some ideas.
Step by Step Toward Sobriety
- Congratulate yourself on your decision to get sober. That’s a big deal!
- Find a fully certified treatment center that you are comfortable with. (May we suggest Bel Aire Recovery Center?)
- Work out the necessary details. These may include (but not be limited to):
- Talking to your boss or someone at your school
- Making family arrangements—especially if you have children
- Checking on your insurance coverage
- Making sure you know what you can (and can’t) take to treatment–and then packing
- Go to treatment!
- You will start with medically supervised detoxification to get drugs or alcohol out of your systems as safely and comfortably as possible.
- Next up is rehabilitation, which will include group and individual therapy. You will learn strategies for maintaining your sobriety—and may receive treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders.
- Return to daily life confident that your recovery center is committed to providing a continuum of care—which means you will have ongoing support in the early days of your sobriety.
- Create the systems of support and routines you need to make it more likely that you will be able to maintain your sobriety. Your recovery journey is your own, but there are some common strategies and resources that many people find extremely helpful.
- Do the daily work of staying sober. In case of relapse, return to step one. Don’t despair!
- Each day you are sober is another day you can celebrate accomplishing your goal! That’s a big deal!
Your list of steps might not look exactly like ours, but our point stands. If you can break your journey to sobriety into smaller, manageable steps, you may well better be able to steadily continue moving in the right direction. And each small step completed gets you that much closer to your big goal.
Did We Mention That We Can Help You Get Sober?
Bel Aire Recovery Center’s staff has the expertise, experience, and compassion to help you regain your sobriety. At our beautiful facility in Kansas, we are committed to personalized care that is free of judgment and full of support. If you have reached the point in your process when it is time to pick a recovery center, we would love to talk with you. We love nothing more than helping others reach their sobriety goals.