Relapse happens all the time. One-third of people who have an alcohol use disorder try to quit drinking in any given year. Only one-quarter of people who quit are sober after one year.
Thankfully, there are many resources for people to stay sober long-term. One important resource is sober living. Sober living allows a person to sleep, work, and live in a drug-free environment.
What are good sober habits that anyone can rely on? What is sober living San Diego like? How should someone living in a home keep busy and prepare for the holidays?
Answer these questions and you can avoid relapsing for years to come. Here is your quick guide.
Understand the Signs of Relapse
Many people relapse in several stages. The first stage is an emotional one.
The person is not thinking about using a substance again. But they are encountering emotional issues that could lead them to substance use. They may stop talking to people about their feelings, or they may focus on other people more than themselves.
The second stage involves thinking about using. A person may start to experience cravings for the substance. They may also keep thinking about thoughts related to their previous use, recalling people they used drugs with.
As the second stage progresses, the person may start to trivialize what happened. They may tell themselves that they weren’t high every day and that they could now handle using drugs. They may even start to plan their relapse, finding a place to go use their drugs.
The third stage involves actually using drugs. These stages can take weeks or months to unfold.
Every person is different, so not all relapses will go through the three stages. A person may be sober, experience a traumatic event, and decide to use drugs in one day.
Some warning signs are independent of the stages. They include exposure to stress, poor physical health, and social stigma.
If you notice any desire to use drugs within yourself, you should get help right away. Talk to someone you trust and remove yourself from your immediate environment.
Learn Good Sober Habits
There are many habits that can help you stay sober. Journaling can help you trace the triggers that may encourage a relapse.
It can also help you remember the positive events that are going on in your life. You can remind yourself of the virtues of sobriety and come up with ways to keep things going.
Meditation can calm the mind and foster inner peace. You can use music, visual art, and mantras to help keep you focused. If you are religious, praying can serve a similar function.
Healthy eating can provide a good foundation for a person to learn how to be sober. Add fruits and vegetables into each meal, including at breakfast. Drink plenty of water and engage in some daily exercise, including walking and running.
Creating a daily schedule can be a significant stress reliever. It makes a person less likely to forget things or run out of time on activities. Sit down at the start of the day and figure out how and when you should get everything done.
Keep Getting Help
There is no such thing as a cure for drug abuse. Even if you have gone years without using, you should continue to get help. Avoiding resources that help you stay sober can lead to a relapse.
If you like one-on-one therapy, find a talk therapist. Tell them your personal story and where you are in your sober journey. Ask them for advice on what you can do next.
Group therapy can be awkward, especially for beginners. But through time, you learn to develop trust in those around you. You can learn from their stories and become empowered by telling your own.
Twelve-step programs are effective for many people. You can join Alcoholics Anonymous or an independent organization.
If you want to stay completely anonymous, you can find support online. You can join an Internet forum, Facebook group, or chatroom. You can also call national helplines, especially if you are in a crisis.
You can get help after a relapse. You can return to old resources, or you can find new ones. Medical professionals understand that relapses do happen, and they will provide you with care and support.
Know Your Sober Living San Diego Options
Every sober living facility is different. South House Sober Living offers a number of amenities, including Internet and television access. There is no sobriety requirement, meaning residents can be completely new to sober living.
Canyon View Sober Living Euclid has fewer amenities, though it is more affordable. It has a sobriety requirement of 30 days, and all residents must undergo treatment programs before moving in.
Homes can cater to a specific demographic. South House caters specifically to women. Nearly all homes separate men from women.
You can pursue housing specifically for LGBTQ people. Miss Patty’s Affordable LGBTQ and Ally Sober Living is a space that any member of the community can enter. Keep in mind that you may need to travel to find a specific housing opportunity.
View a variety of different homes before deciding one for yourself. Google “sober living homes san diego” and “sober living san diego ca” to see what is available.
If you have trouble in a particular home, you can transfer. Move as soon as possible. The longer you remain in a stressful environment, the more likely you are to relapse.
Keep Yourself Busy
Try to find a full-time job. You are not required to disclose any personal details if you don’t want to.
If you can’t find a full-time position, combine a few part-time positions together. You can fill an online or remote job. Remote jobs provide flexibility so you can plan your own hours out.
Give yourself activities to do on weekends. Whenever possible, call a friend and hang out with them. Loneliness can encourage a relapse.
San Diego offers plenty of things you can do. If you like animals, you can go to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. If you have kids, you can take the whole family to the LEGOLAND California Resort.
There are many places you can go to for free. Coronado Island has beaches you can walk or sunbathe on. Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve contains coastal areas you can hike and observe animals in.
Find a hobby that you can do at night. Creative activities like painting and songwriting can help you channel your thoughts into something productive. You can get catharsis for previous experiences, or you can escape into imaginative worlds and characters.
Avoid revisiting any places that you associate with your drug use. Consider traveling to another location entirely. Travel can help you learn new cultures and understandings of sobriety.
Plan for the Holidays
The holidays are a time of incredible stress. In some parts of the country, relapse rates can spike 150 percent during the holiday season.
Some people use drugs and alcohol in response to family drama or traumatic events. If being around your family may cause you to use again, don’t go. You can invite over friends or a few family members.
Many holiday events serve alcohol. Skip the ones that do.
You can throw your own parties that don’t involve drinking. Talk to your sober living supervisor to see what you can do in your home. You can rent out a common space if you can’t host a party in your residence.
If you must go to one, put as much distance between yourself and the drinks as possible. Talk to people so you can keep your mind busy. Refuse all alcohol and opt for water, coffee, or juice instead.
Some family members may make awkward comments to you. You are under no obligation to explain your sobriety or past history. Don’t say anything that you don’t want to say.
The holidays are supposed to be about fun, compassion, and generosity. Live those values as much as possible. Give back to your community and engage in activities that will relieve your stress.
Find Sober Living Resources Today
Anyone can pursue sober living San Diego. Counter the signs of relapse as they develop. Adopt good habits like writing in a journal, dieting, and exercising.
Keep seeking help from medical professionals. Select where you are going to live from a list of options.
Stay busy with a full-time job and weekend outings. Avoid situations that might cause you to drink alcohol during the holidays. Plan your own alcohol-free events whenever possible.
Keep up the good work and read more about sober living. Taste Recovery lets you search for options. Read about our services today.