Ten Essential Tips for Staying Sober
1. Attend regular 12 Step meetings: Allow people to get to know you, share, and receive information. By allowing others to know you, you also get to know them and you build a network of support for those tough times, (and they will come). By sharing you also get to find out that your problems are not unique and that others can relate. That’s a big deal!
2. Use the telephone list: 12 Steps groups will hand out a phone list they have compiled of people who are willing and available to be contacted by newcomers for support. Use this list, the phone will seem to weigh a ton the first time you call someone, make sure you have several names you can call just in case someone is out of town, at work or in the shower.
3. Get a sponsor: A sponsor is someone who can help guide you through the twelve steps, is willing to listen and give you the support so you may stay sober. Preferably a woman if you’re a woman and a man if you’re a man. This prevents from getting emotionally attached when you are most vulnerable. Your sponsor’s sobriety and experience will be very valuable to you.
4. Practice anonymity whenever requested to do so: Some people in recovery are very open about their sobriety and it’s no secret to them or others. However, not all 12 Step members are like that. Be respectful of others anonymity in regards to all members in recovery circles. Anonymity means not being known or identified, in this case, to a specific organized group.
5. Have a plan of recovery: Don’t think that just because you intend to stay sober that you will. Sincere honesty is required to stay sober and by having a plan you will stay on track. Your plan of recovery should include activities to keep you sober, like hanging out with sober friends, attending sober picnics, parties, bowling leagues, baseball leagues. Yes, there are such things.
6. Get involved in service: Service doesn’t really mean work, it means doing for others as other have done for you. Arrive early at the meeting to make coffee, set up chairs or tables, greet newcomers and old timers, or even help clean up after the meeting. You will find that you make more friends that way and go home in a much better frame of mind than when you came.
7. Write things down that make an impact: Soon after the meeting write down some things you may have heard that made an impression, an acronym, a saying, a story or some concept you find will help you stay sober. You don’t have to write a book, just a few short notes or words to jog your memory will be helpful for later use.
8. Read inspirational literature everyday: Every day whether in the morning or during the day, find time to read some type of inspirational literature. Something that will nurture your spirit and allow you to have peace for a better day. It doesn’t have to be religious if you’re not religious; there are many good books out there. Some people actually read a pleasant poem from their book of poetry to start their day. Make it personal.
9. Stay in touch with a Higher Power daily: Whether you call your Higher Power, God, Spirit, Great Universe, or just HP (Higher Power) make sure you say something or think something to communicate with your Higher Power. This communication affirms that you are not alone and no matter what happens during the day your Higher Power is with you.
10. Just for today: Just for today, don’t take that drink or do that drug. Just for today keep yourself clean and sober. Just for today, keep your wits about you. Just for today, live your life. Just for today, enjoy your day because tomorrow, it will be gone and you can do nothing to bring it back. Just for today enjoy the breath of life and see the beauty that surrounds you. Just for today.
These tried and proven tools have been used by alcoholics and drug addicts for years. These same people are now reaping the gifts of sobriety and offer these tools, so you too, may stay off that destructive path by staying sober.