Why Just Being Sober Isn’t Enough

happy man sitting on the steps of a building

A Fork In The Road

Sobriety isn’t easy. You tried really hard to get here. Now you’re trying really hard to stay here. That’s significant. Feel the weight of that accomplishment. You’ve made a critical decision. You deserve to feel that sense of accomplishment. But sobriety isn’t the end of your journey. It’s the beginning. You’re at a major fork in the road of your life. You aren’t doomed. You have choices, and those choices matter. You’ve done good work so far. But human willpower is a finite resource. It will weaken, eventually. And remember: sobriety is not the same thing as recovery.

Why Isn’t Sobriety Enough?

If you’re sober, that means you can think clearly. Your emotions are balanced. You can make accurate judgments about external things. That’s your normal state, right? Not exactly. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain’s ability to change itself. The brain works through systems and habits. Whatever your goals are, your brain wants you to have them. It will motivate you to push toward your goals. It will also disregard anything that gets in your way. What does that mean for your sobriety? It means your sobriety is no longer your normal state. Dependence is your balance now. Your mind and body must have your substance of choice in order to function properly. That’s your “new normal,” as it were. Sobriety is about stopping something that’s not good for you. Sobriety is good, but it isn’t enough. It’s just step 1.

Sobriety vs. Recovery. What’s The Difference?

Sobriety is about stopping. But recovery is about starting. Think of someone who can’t swim. Throwing them a life preserver is good. They aren’t drowning anymore. They’re ok. But they still don’t know how to swim. To boot, they’re still stranded. They need to learn how to swim and find land. That’s the main difference between sobriety and recovery. Sobriety involves moving away from old patterns. Recovery is about moving toward new ones. Sobriety draws a line in the sand and says “no more” to things in the past. But recovery creates new thoughts, new patterns, new habits. Recovery rejuvenates. It creates. For that reason, it’s more powerful than sobriety. But it’s also more difficult.

Why Is Recovery Better?

For most people, maintaining sobriety alone isn’t sustainable. It’s a well-intentioned choice. And a good one. But it’s always looking backward. For that reason, it’s easy to get too attached to guilt and shame. Sobriety doesn’t look forward. It focuses on what’s behind you. Recovery allows you to build something better. It engages with the future, and allows you to remake yourself. Recovery paves the way for you to be at peace with yourself. In recovery, you can dig into what’s beneath your addiction. You can heal. You can realize hope. That hope can carry into your relationships and mend them. Recovery helps you see your life from a critical lens. It lets you be honest about your past choices, mistakes, and traumas. Only through dealing with past hurts can you experience healing. Remember: sobriety is good. But it’s just the beginning for you. You’ve done well so far. Keep up the good work. Reach out to learn more about recovery.

If you’d like to know more about recovery and treatment options, call Recovery In Tune now at 1 (844) 7-IN-TUNE.


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