How To Live the Rest of Your Life Sober
Updated: Mar 16
Maybe you’ve been sober for years, or perhaps you just decided an hour ago to live a sober life. Getting sober and staying sober takes courage, consistency, and support from others. Kudos to you for deciding to live a better life — and a sober life.
No matter where you are in your sobriety journey, it’s a good idea to review strategies to live the rest of your life sober. If you want to live a life free of drug addiction, alcohol addiction, or substance use disorder, you’ve come to the right place. Consider this your sober lifestyle playbook!
Let’s dive into why you want to go sober in the first place! You’ve got this.
Remember Your Reason Why
What is the main reason you decided to live a sober life? Was it because your substance abuse interfered with or maybe even destroyed relationships? Or did you find that alcohol addiction was draining your wallet?
Maybe you even found yourself in legal trouble due to your drinking. Everyone has their own reasons why they stopped abusing substances.
As you go through your sobriety journey, you will have good days and bad days, and setbacks are part of the journey. It’s helpful to remember your “why” and consider writing it down. Keep it somewhere that’s visible to you.
Refer to why you quit substance abuse during the difficult times, or even daily if that’s helpful to you.
Remind Yourself of the Benefits
The list of benefits that come with a sober life is long. Starting a life of sobriety can be challenging, but once you get a taste of the benefits of sobriety, you’ll begin to feel a new level of well-being. The commitment to long-term sobriety delivers life-long benefits and makes the journey worth it.
Let’s cover some of the best benefits of a sober life!
Better Mental Health
When you’re living a sober life, your mental health improves. You can think more clearly and are better equipped to use good judgment during sobriety.
Studies show that you may be more vulnerable to developing a mental disorder when you abuse substances. Taking alcohol and drug use out of your life will improve your mental health.
Improved Physical Health
Sobriety impacts all areas of wellness. Regarding physical health, alcohol and drug abuse can wreak havoc on your physical health. Alcohol has been linked to over 200 diseases or serious injuries. When you’re living a life of sobriety, you’re choosing a healthier body.
With improved energy and motivation, you may find yourself starting to exercise and taking better care of yourself. Staying sober for life means improved physical health.
More Money in Your Wallet
Once you’re sober, you’ll likely notice more money in your wallet. That’s right — substance use disorders can drain your finances. One of the benefits of a sober life is not wasting good money on a good buzz.
Sober life means keeping more of your hard-earned money or saving money for something more meaningful.
When you’re not hungover, chances are you’re a lot more productive. Living a sober life usually means doing more of the things you’ve wanted to do.
This could mean using your time differently, doing the things that bring you joy, or it could mean bettering yourself by taking classes, volunteering, or just managing your life better. Increased productivity is a benefit that comes with sobriety.
A life of substance abuse can mean strained relationships with family members, or it can be a deterrent to developing healthy relationships. Breaking promises or exhibiting aggressive behaviors damages relationships and breaks trust.
When you’re living a sober life, you’re in more control of your emotions and your actions. On the other hand, sometimes, leaving a relationship is necessary for a life of sobriety.
If your partner or close friend is inhibiting your goals of being sober, it may be time to say goodbye — at least for a while, and maybe for good.
The most important relationship is with yourself. Choosing a life of sobriety means choosing a healthy life for you and keeping the promises you make to yourself.
Identify Potential Triggers
Living sober requires identifying triggers that could cause a relapse. Often when people relapse, they’ve attempted to quit using on their own, and then they later seek out a sober community for support or treatment. Triggers can come in many forms, and they’re different for everyone.
Below is a list of possible triggers. Do any of these triggers hit home for you?
Steer Clear of Old Hangouts
When you’re working on how to live a sober life and what works best for you to achieve this, it’s important to remember where you used substances before you were sober. If you had a hangout, such as a local bar where you would meet up with friends, you might want to stay clear of this type of gathering spot.
If your old habits included going to a friend’s house every Friday night, and that’s where your drug use began or where you abused alcohol, you’ll want to steer clear of this type of place. Keeping your promise to yourself to live a sober life sometimes means making difficult decisions about where you spend your time.
Once you’ve been sober for a while, you may start to believe that you’re in the clear from alcohol or drug abuse, and maybe you are. No matter where you are on your sobriety journey, removing any temptations around your house is a good idea, especially during the initial abstinence period.
Don’t tempt yourself with a bottle of vodka or drug paraphernalia lying around the house. All it takes is one tough day or strong craving to derail you from your goals.
When you’re living a life of sobriety, do yourself a favor, and remove temptations.
One strategy often used when living a sober life is to always come prepared when going to a party or outing and BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage). Don’t expect that the host will have a spread of non-alcoholic beverages. They might, but just in case, it’s a great idea to bring your own beverage, so you stay in control of the situation.
An example may be bringing a few iced teas, a water bottle, or a mocktail, sparkling water, and juice. Plan ahead when going to social gatherings. Bring your own beverage so you are never caught off guard or unprepared.
Know Your Resources
Once you’ve decided to go sober, know that it’s an ongoing commitment that will require ongoing effort and energy. Knowing your resources and being ready for setbacks in case you need them is a great plan.
You can turn to many places for resources and help for your specific situation, including your healthcare provider, who may refer you to inpatient or outpatient treatment programs. It’s important not to go sober in isolation; consider a sobriety support group, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, or an online group available 24/7, such as Sober Sidekick.
About Sober Sidekick
Sober Sidekick is a free app with over 150,000 people in a sober community, and all who have substance abuse issues are welcome. The recovery community includes people from all walks of life, with a wide variety of ages and social classes.
Some have a history of alcohol abuse and have been to treatment centers or tried other treatment options. Some are still drinking alcohol but trying to quit, and others are in the middle of detox, needing a high level of support. They are all in addiction recovery from some kind of substance abuse.
Features of the app include:
Professional help available
Join the fastest-growing sobriety community and download the Sober Sidekick today!
Once you’ve decided to live a life of sobriety, you’ll need to learn strategies to maintain a sober life. From remembering your why to creating healthy distractions from triggers, you can begin your comeback story right now.
Join a community that understands your challenges and needs, and download the Sober Sidekick app today for immediate support with your sobriety goals!
Substance Use and Co-Occurring Mental Disorders | NIH
How alcohol affects your body | Better Health Channel
Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery | NIH: Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine