By Ben Spielberg
Going to treatment was, hands down, the best decision I’ve ever made for myself. I gained confidence, I got sober, and I got in touch with my spiritual identity. However, while getting sober became easy after a while, I struggled quite a bit. When I first got sober I noticed I had a lot of issues and traumas that I never dealt with—I looked deep inside myself and was rigorously honest with everybody. And it hurt. I had never been so honest in my life, and there were a lot of times when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, when I just wanted to numb myself from everything life had to offer. I’m glad that I did hold on and here are some tips of how I did it.
1. Take things slow. Instead of the commonly found meme in AA, “One day at a time,” take things one hour at a time. When things get tough try to hold on for just one more hour.
2. Be vocal. When you are having problems, say something. Being transparent can be frightening and make you feel vulnerable, but it could be the one thing that saves your life.
3. Find something you’re passionate about. Read a book, write a poem, play music, draw something, dance, etc. The best way to turn negative emotions into something positive is by creatively expressing them.
4. Help somebody else. Committing a selfless act in the midst of a depressing period seems oxymoronic, but you’d be surprised how much giving another person advice, or even offering a homeless person money can change your attitude.
5. Puppies are the opposite of drugs. When I’m feeling down, playing with a cute, small animal almost never fails.
6. Be present in a community. This could mean going to a meeting, a group, Ala-non, or a therapeutic social gathering of any kind.
7. Remember that life is temporary. In the end, we all only have one day of sobriety. When I struggle, I know that just by staying sober this one day is the most important thing in my life.
8. Make a To-Do List. Set reasonable goals, for instance, making your bed or doing laundry.
9. Meditate. The best form of healthy isolation—when life gets tough it may seem like the last thing you want to do is sit and focus on your breath, but that could in fact be the best thing for you.
10. When all else fails, find a distraction. Play Scrabble or watch a movie—do anything you need to do to pass the time so that you can wake up the next morning and feel a little bit better, and a little more confident.
Isn’t about time for you to hold on?
- Single Best Productivity Tip | zen habits (zenhabits.net)