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Ways I stay sober

6 techniques that have helped me

By Tressa RosePublished 2 months ago 4 min read
Top Story - August 2023
Ways I stay sober
Photo by Count Chris on Unsplash

So I am what people would refer to as a Poly user. Meaning I've struggled with many different substances throughout my adult life. It all started with me getting a long bout of kidney stones and having to have lots of surgeries for them in a short period of time. The first pill my Urologist ever prescribed me was Dilaudid 4 mg, if you know anything about pain medication you will know these are very strong, along-side them he also gave me Oxycodone 10 mg. I was 19 years old when I started taking them, and I remember his words clear as day "You're going to become dependent on them, but don't worry, we will wean you off."

I had no clue what that even meant! But he was a Doctor, so I trusted him. Then one month my insurance had a billing issue and I did not have the money for the visit. My Doctor basically said I was screwed, that's when I was introduced to the world of illicit drugs.

By Alexander Grey on Unsplash

I am now 34 years old, and have spent my adult life struggling off and on, but I feel like I'm finally breaking through all the things that have kept me chained to it, and I have found the tools to help me stay sober long term.

There are no magic secret tricks, these are all simple techniques that are easy to access and do any time though. And I think people give up on them quickly or don't try cause they think it's too simple, but if you are consistent and don't give up, they work!

1. Self-care routine

Self-care is the key, because if I stop doing things every day to take care of myself, even the little things, I become easily depressed and that is a big trigger for me, it has always lead to use. So I have gotten in the routine of doing my makeup every day, and trying to curl or style my hair often, because those are things that help me feel good about myself. I had a pretty simple wardrobe for a while, comfy clothes, nothing fancy, but I went and bought some nicer shirts (for cheap from Ross) and I get complimented all the time on how nice I look.

There are lots of different form of self-care, showering, listening to music, going for a walk in nature, talking to an old friend, painting your nails, dying your hair a fun new color! Mine is currently a pretty green tone after it fading from blue, and I've decided to do something new and out of my comfort zone this next time. Things like this keep my depression at bay and my state of mind healthy so I have no desire to use.

By "Jessie Dee" Dabrowski on Unsplash

2. Grounding

There are many different ways to ground, but I will just list some that work for me. Going and taking your shoes and socks off and feeling the grass/dirt/sand between your toes is probably the most literal way you can ground! But it works, just letting yourself feel your feet absorbing the earth's energy. You can also ground with breathing exercises, they always help me when I am feeling overwhelmed. Mindfulness is good cause it brings you back into this moment, using your 5 senses to observe the world around you as it is right now.

By Frames For Your Heart on Unsplash

3. Mudras

These are newer to me but extremely powerful!!!

These could be in the category of grounding but they are so much more than that I had to dedicate them their own section. Mudras are unique hand motions that when used with focus and intent can stimulate all kinds of goodness in your body because all your organs are connected to your hands. They allow us to recharge our energy levels in our bodies. Here is a link, I highly encourage you to check them out!

4. Journaling

Journaling has become more and more important to me because I'm seeing as time passes how helpful it is to be able to look back on what I have written, so I can spot patterns in myself, and recognize when I am falling back into the negative ones. Writing your feelings in the moment also helps you process what you are going through while also venting. I have struggled to be consisitent with it which I regret, cause it is so interesting to look back on where you have been. Plus if you're struggling you can look back and read on the positive times to regain some hope, and when you're doing well you can read the bad times and realize in future ones, you're actually gonna end up ok... It's a win win!

By Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

5. Connection and support

I am still working on this one, building more healthy connections in my life I mean. Because I have learned I can do it alone, but it's a miserable and lonely road. Don't be afraid to open up and accept support. Reach out and find good, healthy connections!

By Hannah Busing on Unsplash

6. Holding good boundaries!!!

This is so so so important! Whether it be with family, friends, or relationships. You know your boundaries... keep them!

By Giulia May on Unsplash

I hope this helps someone out there somewhere, like a similiar person did for me. I hope you realize how amazing you really are, and that you deserve all the best things life has to offer!

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About the Creator

Tressa Rose

On a serious self-discovering, soul-searching journey. Breaking myself out of a stagnant shell and reaching out for my dream of being a writer. Small steps but this is my start! Please help me by commenting your feedback, I'd be grateful!

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Comments (11)

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  • Carol El24 days ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was very powerful. I wish my son could have known some of the techniques you mentioned. He too suffered from certain addictions.

  • Missclicked26 days ago

    journaling definitely helps a lot, congratulations on top story! (previous comment was by mistake, i pressed enter button)

  • Naomi Gold26 days ago

    Back to say congrats on your Top Story! Feels weird giving a champagne toast emoji on a story about addiction, because alcohol has that power to ruin lives. I’d rather give you a hug instead. 🤗

  • Hope Martin26 days ago

    I am proud of you. That's the first and foremost thing I wanna say. I have had some serious crazy things happen to me from people who were on drugs - and I was pretty traumatized. I actually started going to AA meetings to learn more about addiction so I could understand it better. I didn't understand why this person I loved had done these things to me. I learned going there, that there are two very different kinds of addicts. I learned a lot by doing this. The kind that fights, like you, every day, and work hard to make yourself better, and I gained SO much respect for people like you, I learned that it takes so much discipline and self control and it's a battle that's never won - but it gets easier to win everyday if you stick with it, and can get through it. And then I learned that there are 'addicts' like the person who traumatized me, the kind that enjoy that life style and they don't want to stop. They either haven't gotten to that rock bottom place where they want to change or they just... don't want to. I'm so proud of you. And I see you, and I am rooting for you, I believe in you and I am praying for you. And I love that you're spreading this information. And I LOVE that you believe in grounding, I use that to cope with my anxiety and depression a lot. And now, I'm going to go read up on Mudras, and learn about this. Thanks for teaching me something new!

  • Thank you for sharing these methods, I think my diabetes, and definitely my cirrhosis and from that my cancer were caused by alcohol but I have not drunk for twenty years, though I recently discovered alcohol-free Guinness which a friend says has no right to exist it tastes that good, and I agree. Thank you once more

  • It is so brave to share your journey and I'm so glad you have found things that help you! I love grounding, it's life changing! Congrats on top story!

  • Real Poetic26 days ago

    Congratulations and great work.

  • This is a brilliant article, thank you for sharing 🙏❤️ Addiction is all about attachment - and very few of us have healthy attachment. I’ve yet to meet anyone with, actually, but I’m certain they exist! This is a well written, useful and practical guide with a very personal touch. I look forward to seeing more of your writing 🙏❤️✨

  • Naomi Gold27 days ago

    This is a great list. My form of “addiction” is anorexia. It can be kept under control, but it doesn’t ever go away. I’ve used a few of these methods on your list to make sure I don’t relapse, and I’ve been doing great for a few years now. Self-care, meditating on the page in stream of consciousness journaling, and setting firm boundaries with people have been literal life savers.

  • Ashley Lima28 days ago

    I love this so much. Congratulations on your sobriety. It's not an easy thing. I appreciate you sharing what works for you, even the spots you're still working through. Your honesty is refreshing and touching. Great work

  • Dean F. Hardy28 days ago

    Hey Tressa, thanks for writing this. A shame it hasn't been picked up on here. But that can be changed and I think this is a very worthwhile piece. Appreciate your honesty and time put into a piece like this. Your introduction into opioid dependency is horrifyingly common it seems. Sorry it happened and happy to see you wrestle it into a state of submission. Keep it up. You have a new subscriber.

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