Does Staying Sober Get Easier?
I will never forget those early days in sobriety where staying sober was something I had to do one day at a time. I remember getting the obsession to use and instantly reinforce “I can get high tomorrow” luckily for me tomorrow never came, but I was still filled with this overwhelming fear. The source of the fear was “will staying sober always be this difficult? If staying sober was going to be this difficult forever, then there would be no hope at obtaining long-term sobriety.”
Now having been 4 years sober I can assure you things can get easier, but they don’t get easier on their own.
What do I mean by that?
You have to work towards actively seeking a solution to replace drugs and alcohol. A lot of addicts, myself included, believe we just “like to get high” but there’s more to it then that. I like cheesecake, I like video games, I like playing cards but I won’t sacrifice my health, sanity, freedom, and life for things I merely “like”. The truth is I loved getting high more then I loved myself, I needed getting high, it was deep down a solution for problems that I wasn’t even aware I had because I was constantly numbing them with various substances.
So I get sober, and these problems surface but outside of drugs and alcohol I’m not equipped do deal with them. Of course I’m going to desire to use the only solution I know that works – getting high and I’m going to continue to desire using until I find a alternate solution to replace the drugs with.
In the beginning I took it one day at a time while exploring new options to solve emotional disturbances. Some of these emotional disturbances included but aren’t limited to:
Over time the new options I explored as alternate solutions for these emotional disturbances started working effectively. As these new patterns of behavior and thinking started solving these problems, the thought of using narcotics and alcohol became less appealing. I started to identify drugs and alcohol as an ineffective solution, I recognized that using created more problems then it solved while the new solutions I discovered not only solved problems but in the long run made me more effective at dealing with them.
I can’t pinpoint when I stopped struggling with the obsession to use completely, but looking back it’s been over 3 years since the last time I struggled with the obsession to use. There is hope.
I always will be an addict and because of that I’ll never completely lose my desire to use, but it never seems like a good idea and at some point in my recovery I started to instantly dismiss it as a bad idea. I use the analogy “it’s like seeing a hot chick but knowing she has AIDs, or seeing a tasty food and knowing you’re deathly allergic, sure you want to but at the same time you don’t entertain the thought longer then a brief second.”
If you’re reading this article and are struggling with desiring to use feel free to reach out to me for support and further information on my solution. You can also find me discussing my solution on YouTube and on social media.
Philip – 2147349667
Here is a video which summarizes this article:
Philip Markoff (Associate of Science) is an online influencer and thought leader on addiction education; he is known as his alias “CG Kid” who’s obtained a large audience primarily on YouTube as a vlogger and journalist. His current sobriety date from polysubstance chemical dependency is June 9th, 2013.