As we enter 2014, it’s an appropriate time to start thinking ahead. Whether you’re struggling with drugs or alcohol, or love someone who is, the new year presents an opportunity to establish new goals and make commitments for a better life.
Here are some resolutions you or your loved one can make in 2014 to support your commitment to sobriety.
Make forgiveness part of your life, especially in the event of a relapse
Addiction is persuasive and relapses happen. If it happens in your life, it’s important to accept it, forgive and move on. The work you’ve put in up to this point isn’t negated or somehow disqualified because of relapse. If you hit a bump in the road, it’s no time to leave the road and wander into lands unknown. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what you did is okay; it means you’ve accepted your mistake and it’s time to get back to treatment. Forgive yourself and others, stay the course and honor your sobriety.
Find and maintain a quality support network
Maintaining a network of people who respect your sobriety objectives is as important as eliminating drugs and/or alcohol from your life. While Black Sabbath rocker Ozzy Osbourne checked back in to rehab in April 2013 with his sad but hopeful wife Sharon in his corner, it was revealed this month that his band mates Tommy Iommi and Geezer Butler were shocked to learn of Ozzy’s relapse. According to the Guardian, they had no idea he was using again, even as the three worked on their new album together this spring. This is a great example that simply having access to supportive people is often not enough. Actively accepting support, guidance and accountability – which includes meeting attendance – is critical to lasting sobriety.
Learn to effectively manage stress
Make 2014 the year where you stop letting stressors interrupt your life. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, meetings or seeking professional help, having an outlet for stress is the only way to eliminate its stronghold. Life will never be free of stress – from traffic jams to bosses, to deadlines and other influential components of our lives, stress is a part of the world we live in. The objective of living a happy, sober life is not about getting away from stress, it’s about learning how to deal with it.
Commit to a healthy diet and exercise
Is it a trite New Year resolution? Sure. But, just like sobriety, a diet and exercise plan can not only add an enormous amount of obvious physical health benefits, but psychological peace as well.
If you or a loved one has struggled in 2013 and are ready to find supportive help this New Year, please contact The Watershed. Our helpline is open 24/7: 1-800-861-1768.