Staying sober requires that recovering people remain motivated towards sobriety. Recovering individuals need to become involved in Social Anchoring, a skill which comprises five very distinct actions to enable long-term support for recovery. Through the development of these actions people begin to learn a practical application of principles which offer a sufficient substitute other than alcohol or drugs.
Most newly sober people have trouble evaluating their experience and abilities objectively. This lack of objectivity can result in poor decision making and a lack of awareness which does not put your skills and achievements in a positive light. This article is intended to be a starting place so you can best determine how to best present your specific skills and find various ways to enliven your sobriety.
1) Attendance at recovery based meetings. It is imperative that people who want to remain sober, spend time with other people trying to achieve the same thing. Recovery based fellowship enables people to see what works, what doesn’t, learn skills to support long-term abstinence, and develop friendships so that when one experiences a desire to drink and use, they can call upon their fellows in these meetings, rather than answering the call of their favorite chemical.
2) Remaining accountable. We need to spend time with people who are working a recovery program and exhibit behaviors that are suggestive of a life committed to personal growth and sobriety. Junior members are encouraged to find senior members who “have what they want” and develop a mentor relationship with one another. These junior/senior members meet regularly to discuss how they can apply what they have learned, offer objective feedback, and help you to develop a plan of action for meetings goals.
3) Developing a connection with a Higher Power. This right-of-passage usually involves coming to terms with archaic religious views and discarding the codified structure of what isn’t working, and which prevents people from reaching full integrity in their recovery program. New members are encouraged to set-aside what they know and begin to see things differently. Remembering that setting aside what you know isn’t asking you to discard what you know, rather it is about becoming willing to consider a different viewpoint or understanding that our way doesn’t support us to get what we want.
4) Developing a program of service towards others. Most of the great endeavors of our time have involved giving back. As we move along towards progress in our recovery, we must do so with the mind of acting as stewards to others. During our sobriety we have come to realize we have caused people great pain, sorrow and suffering by our use. By developing a program of recovery based on service to other people we begin to give back what we took, realize we are being of service to others, and enjoy how we see ourselves differently.
5) The single most important trait of any recovering person is willingness: willingness to keep an open mind, a willingness to accept that our way hasn’t worked, and a tacit understanding that what we are unwilling to do usually causes us to backslide into old, negative, self-defeating behaviors. Part of willingness usually means we need to accept the feedback of other people that have grown in wisdom and time of sobriety. Willingness also means that we need to follow feedback even if we don’t like it, understand it, want to do it, or think what we hear is a bunch of garbage. It has been my experience that many people who say they don’t understand are usually saying they don’t like what they hear.
Good luck in your sobriety..