A New Location Can Mean a New Lease on Life
Sobriety is elusive at best. It’s certainly difficult to live a sober life, and just as hard to maintain for any considerable length. There are a few keys to success, and one of them is undoubtedly changing your environment.
Breaking the Chains of Addiction
Humans are creatures of habit. When we get accustomed to doing things in a certain way, it’s very difficult to break the cycle and start doing otherwise, even when we know we need to and it might be a matter of life or death, like in the case of addiction. One of the number one things that doctors will recommend is living somewhere new when an addict leaves treatment, preferably in a sober living home, to avoid slipping right back into the habits that got you into rehab in the first place.
Based on habits formed, certain places and situations in your life can be terribly toxic. We navigate through our world using our senses, and memory and association has a very strong impact on how we act and react to a situation. It is easier to change habits when some distance is formed and we are allowed to grow as people, so it is crucial in the beginning of recovery to make distinct changes to allow for this growth to occur.
A New Start Can Bring a Sober Life
Starting somewhere new is like a blank slate. You don’t have memories and habits associated, and can form new healthy ones. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are, for example, trying to stop drinking, being in a situation where all of your old drinking paraphernalia is around and certain situations remind you of drinking, it will be a lot harder to stop. Little habits like having a glass – or bottle- of wine while you are making dinner can be harder to avoid than you think.
Changing your environment also means changing the company you keep. Chances are many of the “friends” you had before seeking drug or alcohol treatment valued you mostly for being someone to party with, and not truly the person you are. These kinds of people have no regard or respect for a person trying to stay sober, and will be happy to bring you right back down into addiction. You may be able to deny them 5, 8, even 15 times, but if they stay around long enough, chances are you will eventually cave.
More Needs to Change Than Just The Environment
You cannot rely solely on a change of location to keep you sober. There isn’t a magical geographical area that will release all of your demons and keep you sober and happy 100% of the time. Recovery is hard work, and you need to continue to make it a priority in order to earn substantial sober time. We can never escape ourselves, no matter how hard we may try. At the core of every situation is YOU, and that is why recovery must come from within.
The positive side of recovery starting with you, and not your location, is that sobriety can be achieved anywhere, and outside factors can either help or hinder the process. So if you are in a situation where you can’t get away, like for example you own a home, you can still live a happy, sober life – it may just take a little more work and support.
Your environment is very important in the outcome of your recovery. It would definitely be highly suggested to move somewhere new if that is a possibility for you, but if it isn’t, know that doesn’t mean that you are destined to stay drunk or high. Recovery and sobriety always begins with you and your decision to pick up or not.