There are many paths to sobriety, and for that matter, there are many different definitions of sobriety. Some think sobriety is just putting down the booze. Others think that this means that you are a “dry drunk,” and that to truly be sober, you must be work the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and . If you want to become sober, you can always try to just stop drinking. If you are not a true alcoholic, that will probably solve your problem. But it never worked for me.
I became sober after a series of events landed me in detox for the second time. I won’t go into it here, but I was certainly down on my luck and hopeless. And if you drink or use drugs every day, I highly recommend that your search to become sober includes a stint at a medical detox facility. Alcohol can be one of the most dangerous drugs to come off of if you are a daily drinker, even deadly. Other drugs may not kill you, but you will feel so bad if you detox on your own you may relapse just to relieve the discomfort. A medical detox facility can administer meds to relieve the withdrawal.
The second step on my journey to become sober was an inpatient rehab center. Not everyone goes to rehab, and I’ve heard plenty of stories about people who become sober without it. In my case, it was pretty important, if it only gave me those first thirty days in a safe environment. Do people relapse in treatment? Of course, but it’s much harder to do. You also have an opportunity to examine the reasons you drink in the first place, and to learn skills that will help you become sober member of society.
After treatment, I went to a sober house. I was able to become sober living among other women who had the same issues that I did. The sober house offered support and guidance as I tried to navigate the risky waters of early sobriety. In those early days, it was important for me to have rules and a system of accountability.
In the sober house, the real work began. I got a sponsor, went to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and started working steps. Getting through steps was one of the most transformative experiences of my life. They taught me how to live spiritually, with honor and dignity, and to live my life in a responsible, satisfying way. The obsession to drink was completely lifted, and I began to see the world in a new way. I no longer look at what I can get from a situation or person, but how I can give. I found true happiness and true friendship.
The way I became sober is not necessarily the way you will become sober. I cannot tell anyone else how to become sober. I can only share my experience- what has worked for me and countless others. For me, that was treatment and AA. I do not know what your journey to become sober will look like, but I do wish you luck. Because it’s a great way to live.