The Difference Between 'Getting Sober' and 'Living Sober'

Matt Barba, Intake Specialist

There’s nowhere to turn, all bridges have been burned, nobody’s answering the phone for you, and if you reach deep into your pocket you’re coming up with, at best, pennies and lint.  You can’t stand to look at your reflection in a store front window, but when you catch a glimpse all you see is a mere shell of the young man you used to be. Something’s got to change, but how do you do it? How do you get back? How do you rebuild the relationships that have been destroyed? How do you “LIVE SOBER?” Metaphorically speaking, you’ve walked ten miles into the woods and now you’ve got to walk the whole ten miles out. There are no shortcuts!  This is not a moral issue but rather an illness called addiction that has not allowed you to reach your full potential nor live a sober life.  Living sober is a daily commitment to oneself to change attitudes and behaviors that have hampered forward momentum in life. A slow reintroduction back into life is vital to attaining and holding onto a sober life worth living. This is the major difference between getting sober and living sober. Getting sober is simply to remove the substances, to detox. Within the first month you are as “sober” as you’re ever going to get.  Living a “sober life” is a whole other animal. How to Live SoberLiving sober is beginning to learn who you really are; reaching deep down into that place inside yourself that only you can see. It is where your truth lies, and where your sober life will bloom. You will attract a host of sober and like-minded friends along the way, you will become gainfully employed and those relationships and bridges within the community that seemed like they were never going to be repaired are now repaired and flourishing in your life. Trust has been developed amongst many and you’re walking freely within a community that you once cowered from in the shadows. You are enjoying activities that you used to enjoy and are participating in events and activities that you never thought possible. Now living sober, and on a spiritual basis, you finally feel “a part of” wherever you are. You’re living a sober life that is worth protecting. Through a slow reintegration process, the 12 steps, therapy, commitment to oneself, digging deep and finding courage where you only knew fear, and trusting those that came before you are keystones to bridging the gap from getting sober to living sober.  Your attitude and outlook at life has completely changed. There is a belief that there is something bigger at work here. There is some order now to what used to seem like total chaos. Those very people that were looked at with skepticism in meetings early on are now seen with a whole new set of eyes. They are obviously living a sober life walking with an air of confidence and ease that seems so magical that it doesn’t even look real. You become sold on the idea that there actually is a difference between getting sober and living sober. You are experiencing it every step of the way. You have bought into the process of getting sober and you are now moving slowly towards living sober. Living sober everyday takes courage and commitment, one day at a time.   ................. Matt Barba, Intake Specialist 203-937-2309 x. 102 mbarba@tpextendedcare.com