Sobriety is more than a series of choices; it is a mindset. Often we try to limit our idea of sobriety to one epistemology or another, not acknowledging how complex a process and a way of life it is. Sobriety is reflected in every area of our lives. Perhaps no one knows this better than someone who struggles to be sober and understands how different their entire being would have to become in order to be sober. Every substance abuser has their own process in discovering their sober identity, but here is some food for thought for developing one’s sobriety.
Spend time thinking about how to be purposeful instead of how to kill time. The first is the pattern of a sober person while the second is a pattern of a substance abuser. Only through sobriety can one be connected to their life’s ambitions and a sense of meaning in all that they do. Substance abuse numbs a person to their sense of purpose, clouding the meaning they find in different aspects of life, but sobriety gives a person the clarity they need to discover purpose in all that they do.
Similarly, it is best to focus on how to stay connected in life rather than how to escape life. Even in times of difficulty, when the temptation to escape into mind altering substances is extreme, one will ultimately find greater satisfaction and wholeness in staying mindful enough to process the components of their life. This does not mean that one cannot engage in fun, stress relieving activities. What it means is that one should not chemically switch their brain off in order to relax.
If you focus on how to bless the people in your life, rather than focus on getting what you want from them, you will find that sobriety will come more naturally to you. Being selfish instead of being a selfless part of a community breeds opportunities for substance abuse because it leads to an exaggerated sense of personal hardship by only looking out for one’s self. Being sober means being conscious of people around you, their needs, their feelings, their sensitivities, rather than only focusing on your own cravings and desires.