By Mavis Jackson, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
Greetings Readers! This excerpt will take a look at some of the challenges both men and women face in their efforts to live a sober lifestyle. There are distinct differences in the challenges that women face, as there are for men. But there are also areas that each may face that are similar in many ways.
Last time, I presented one definition of the word sober, as well as information about general attitudes regarding it. One other definition I wish to offer comes from our old friend Merriam- Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. That definition states “1a: sparing in the use of food and drink, b: not addicted to intoxicating drink; c: not drunk; 2: marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor “. As we can see, this definition includes the mention of drink and not being drunk. That explains why so many people associate sobriety with abstinence from drugs and alcohol. We all grew up with people telling us the meanings of words and sometimes we were told to “go look it up in the dictionary”. Yet, the definition also mentions a person’s character and demeanor, which indicate that it is also about behavior. It is very important to have a clear definition of what living sober is, in order to have a better chance at achieving it. Like all other major changes that one makes in his or her life, it will take hard work, perseverance, and total dedication. Living sober is not for people who need it; it’s for people to want it.
One might ask the question, “Why should I want to live sober?”, and the immediate answer that comes to mind is, “Why should I not want to live sober”? Most people who end up wanting to live sober do so because of several reasons. One, they may have had negative experiences when not living sober; they may have incurred mental or physical health issues when not living sober; or they may have had a brush with death when not living sober. Another reason is they may have just gotten “sick and tired of being sick and tired” of living that way. Implementing major changes in one’s life is never easy, and you will have moments of wanting to give up when things got a little pressing. However, I can personally guarantee that if you don’t give up, the reward will be much greater than whatever challenge you are facing. If not living sober is no longer working for you, or is not getting you what you desire in life, then the sensible choice would be for you to seriously consider changing how you live.
So what is the very first thing that has to change after you decide that you want to live sober? I’m so glad that you asked!! The first and most critical thing that must change is the way you think. Before a person can change how they live, they must change how they think, or how they look at life. If a person continues to think the same way, they will not find it necessary to change; but if they change how they look at not living sober, they will see reasons to change. I have found that if I want different results, I must take different actions. If I keep doing the same thing, or living the same way, I most certainly will keep getting the same results. Yet, when I decide that I want different, better results in my life, I will make the decision to think differently and in turn come in touch with reasons to change my life. Very simply stated is “When I change my thinking, I change my life”. Remember, only YOU can change your thinking, and only YOU can change your life, so ask yourself, “Do I need to change how I’m thinking and living”? If your answer to that question is “yes I do”, then get ready to receive explicit instructions for making that change! More will be revealed!!
Peace & Blessings
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