Sobriety Vs. Recovery: How to Stay Sober

By Michaela Weaver

Today we will be talking about sustaining the changes you want around alcohol.

How many times have you tried to stop drinking or tried to moderate and found that you have been able to do it for a while… 

…And then something happens, and you seem to fall back in with alcohol, and very quickly, you are precisely at the same point you were before you started. 

And sometimes, we find that we’re even further into it than before. That can be very disheartening… it can be very concerning.

So, we are here to talk to you about some of those things and give you some tips and ideas about what you can do to sustain the sobriety changes you want to have in your life.

How to Maintain Sobriety

It might be a couple of glasses of wine every night that you would rather not have. It might be two bottles of wine or equivalent every night that you would rather not have or more or less. So life with alcohol has in its grip, to whatever capacity.

It is very disempowering when it has us caught in that way, and it is also very confusing.

What we will find is a very dramatic life. There are highs and lows, and if we are not in a high, we are in a low, or vice versa.

We’ve built a house on sand. All we find that we want is some peace and calm when alcohol is in the driving seat. We find that peace hard to find and harder to keep…

Therefore, there are no solid foundations at all, and to create sustainability for an alcohol-free life, we need to have solid foundations underpinning our lives. 

And what that means is that if one of those foundations or I call it the pillars of sustainability—if one of those pillars gets knocked a little bit, you have enough to hold you up. 

Life with alcohol ruling is built on sand, and the sand is shifting without any control from us.. and this means that we cannot hold that building up and hold it steady. 

It’s like captaining a ship through a stormy ocean without having the captaining skills to navigate the ship safely.

Building The Pillars Of Sustainable Sobriety: Staying Alcohol-free!

So, you may find that you’ve been able to stop drinking for a while.

You may find that every day without alcohol is a struggle. You may find that you count the days, and each day that you don’t drink alcohol feels like a huge achievement.

If that is true for you, that is an achievement, but it didn’t need to be a struggle. It should be something that makes you feel great and grateful and not something that feels like hard work.

If you are in a situation where being alcohol-free is complex, and you are worried that you might drink again, you would have changed your behavior but not adequately changed your thinking. Some call this a ‘dry drunk,’ although it isn’t a helpful phrase.

Therefore, the emotional connection to alcohol and the relationship with alcohol at a deep level wouldn’t have changed. This is what is meant by psychological addiction.

We used the term addiction very loosely, and if that makes you feel, “oh my goodness, I can’t be addicted,” what does addiction mean in this sense?

If you find yourself doing something that is harming you or the relationships in your life and you wish you were not doing it, either at all or to the extent you are still doing it, then that is pointing to addiction. 

That is what it is. We don’t have to wait for the time we find ourselves on the park bench drinking meth out of a paper bag before we recognize that we are caught in a situation that we don’t want to be in and would instead get out of. 

And I have coached thousands of women out to a place of freedom, and new clients say, ‘I have been able to stop for a couple of months, then I start again.’

If you fall back in with alcohol, that is not freedom. That is still being caught in the trap. 

So what you might find is that you are cruising along, and things seem okay, you have no alcohol in your life, and you are feeling really good about that.

Maybe you feel free, and something will happen in your circumstances and environment. 

It could be a big thing. It can be as big as something like a bereavement. It could be a divorce. It could be a pandemic. It could be a change of work, a change of relationship, a change of anything.

And because that house is built on sand, it starts to tilt, buckle, and before you even know what has happened, you’ll find yourself reaching for a drink. 

And it’s a confusing place to be, and it’s like, ‘what happened? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me?’ 

And you haven’t done anything wrong.. the house was built on sand… and we need pillars of sustainability so that no matter what happens, you know that you are solid. Nothing can ever shake that. 

Rediscovering The Real Freedom And Staying Sober

You may find that you have stopped drinking and feel emotionally raw? 

And you don’t know what to do with those feelings, and that is genuine recognition for many people who stop drinking. It may have been decades that emotions get drowned out by alcohol.

Emotions are part of being human. Without alcohol, we become aware of them, and we feel emotions, and that is okay.

 And so, one of the many pillars of sustainability is built around learning new, healthy, refreshing, and supportive ways to deal with emotion, deal with thinking, and become masters of our minds, which is where we live, after all!

You may feel that navigating the world without alcohol is challenging because you are missing out. 

You feel like everybody else has got something you want (but don’t want at the same time!), and there’s this conflict, this dissonance, and disagreement in your head.

And so, there is a process of adjustment to that true freedom. This is The Social Secret, where you find that everything in life is better without alcohol. Everything has an upgrade and uplift. 

Life is crisper and more precise. The vision is brighter. Life is more colorful. That is the goal here. And underlying it all, everything is more peaceful. There is no drama when sustainability is embedded into life. 

And even the word ‘sustain’ can be dropped because there is nothing to sustain anymore. It just is. Life has transformed, changed, and everything is there for you.

So, when you have confidence in sustainability, nothing can move you, wobble you, or knock you off your feet because you have stability. You can stay alcohol-free with confidence.

When you confidently know that you don’t want to drink and won’t drink, no emotional events can cause drama in your life to the extent that you will fall. 

So stopping drinking is just the beginning of expanding your sober life into experiences you could not have imagined before. 

That is the true joy of moving away from something that causes misery. The true joy is not focusing on stopping or giving up the thing that has been a grain of sand on a whole beach of life. 

Everything that comes with that change that we can initially call sustainability is true freedom, and that is the prize. That is the gold. 

And here, we feel amazing, and we feel authentic. That is what we are aiming for. There is no fear anymore. And fear kept us paralyzed and distracted. 

And if you know in your heart that there is peace where emotions can come and go, thoughts can come and go, and everything is just sustained, then that is the freedom that I invite you to seek and attain.

If you’re seeking help cutting back on or quitting drinking online, our expert coaching programs are here for you. The Alcohol Coach can help. 

We offer science-based and inspiring coaching programs. You may also sign up for the free masterclass and access free resources that will aid you in your quest toward alcohol-free life!

Please note: Although we refer to ‘alcoholism’ and ‘recovery’ in our articles, this is because others often use these terms. 

The Alcohol Coach services come from the viewpoint of empowerment, mindset shift, and high-powered transformational change. 

When this happens, there are no lifelong labels, no counting days, and pure unbounded freedom and discovery! 

Recommended Reading: Drinking is Stressful

FAQ

Is recovery the same as sobriety?

Put simply sobriety is abstaining from using addictive substances. While recovery is the healing part of the process which takes place after stopping the use of the substance.

Is sobriety a lifelong commitment?

Yes it is. Sobriety requires a firm commitment not to take any addictive substances you have in the past. It needs controlling to ensure a healthy version of yourself going forward.

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Hi, I'm Michela

I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!

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Michaela Weaver

Michaela is the world's leading authority for enabling highly successful women to embrace their true, alcohol-free, authentic selves in a world where alcohol is normalised for those who are successful.Her ground-breaking science-based methods using The Science of Transformational Freedom, result in the revelation of uncovering The Social Secret®, so that high achieving woman can joyfully live their lives free from alcohol – but also thrive in all aspects of their work and personal life without it.