Try breathing through your diaphragm, fast and deep breaths in through your nose, then long and slow breaths out through your mouth. This will probably make you sleepy, but it’ll also help to center you. Rhythmic breathing can help you focus your attention — away from thoughts of drinking. This is something you can do online, face-to-face with a friend, or, if all else fails, a mirror. Having a conversation triggers parts of your brain you don’t access when you’re thinking about something on your own.

Another big challenge for young people in recovery is staying motivated to stay sober. This is because they see other people around them drinking or doing drugs and having fun. It can be hard to remember why you’re choosing sobriety when everyone else seems to be having a good time without it. To stay motivated, it’s important to focus on your goals and what you want to achieve in sobriety.

What To Do if You Are Struggling in Recovery

Keep yourself sober by identifying triggers, recognizing warning signs of relapse, preparing for PAWS, avoiding old routines, and cultivating healthy relationships. Seek professional help if needed and join a support network or groups to share experiences and gain advice from others who are also striving to maintain sobriety​2​. Physical sobriety means that you abstain from drugs and alcohol, and while it’s an important aspect of recovery, it’s not the only one. The term emotional sobriety was coined by the 12-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous, and refers to constructively regulating your emotions to maintain recovery.

struggling with sobriety

At the end of the day, recovery is a tough cookie, or we would’ve all done it sooner. These complex feelings will both fade and return at various times. That is the “flexible sober house recovery” we all should expect and strive to keep. Again, if you’re fearing a relapse due to guilt, distress and shame, then close your eyes and imagine this scenario.

Sobriety vs. Recovery

When you catch yourself thinking of drinking, of wanting nothing more than to have one glass of whiskey, then stop and close your eyes. Take that thought and imagine it as a fish and let it float out of your vision. It begins a process of “thinking of thinking” and as strange as it may seem, it helps pull you out so you can calmly observe from afar. It’s important to remember that you’re going to be craving alcohol to reward the short-term part of your brain, not the long term.

  • Spending time with friends and family can be a great way to stay connected and motivated.
  • You have to understand what you’re feeling and WHY you’re feeling this way in order to change it.
  • In early recovery, some individuals may seek out ways to mirror the unhealthy cycle of their addiction.
  • When you get sober, especially if you get sober young, it can be isolating.