3 Reasons You Might Be Sober and Miserable

If you’re sober and miserable, there could be a few things going on.

Most often the case is that you are white-knuckling your sobriety.

Keep in mind, Alcoholics Anonymous does not promise that you will be sober and miserable. Nowhere in the book does it state, “To give up alcohol, you must be miserable.”

Actually, the opposite is stated.

“We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”

That’s some serious freedom.

So why in the world could you be miserable if you are sober, especially if there are these promises in the book? Why have you not gotten there yet?

We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.

There Could Be Other Causes for Feeling Sober and Miserable at the Same Time

1. You Might Not Actually Be Sober

There is a world of difference between being clean and sober. If you suffer from substance use disorder, just because you have stopped using alcohol or drugs does not mean you are sober.

Being sober means you are treating your ailment. You’re in a place where you do not want drugs or alcohol to cope with life. Alcoholism and substance use disorder are considered a disease because it will affect everyone the same.

Even though each of us has different consequences, we all will have the same symptoms of addiction: cannot stay stopped and when you start you will do way more than you thought.

As mentioned above, if you are white-knuckling your sobriety then you are trying to manage your addiction by yourself. You are not treating it.

2. Untreated Trauma or Other Mental Health Problems

Other times you might be treating your alcoholism by going to treatment facilities or 12 Step meetings, but you have not taken care of underlying trauma or mental disorders.

If you have an anxiety disorder or have a life event that has caused trauma, it might be difficult to feel comfortable in your own skin.

The 12 Steps helps one achieve freedom from alcohol, but it is not always equipped to treat underlying health conditions. If you have worked on your alcoholism or addiction, it is critical to work on trauma or other mental health problems that you might have.

3. You Are Not Working a Program

For people who are sober, it is important to continue to do the steps as outlined in the book of Alcoholics Anonymous. If done openly and willingly, alcoholics can be completely transformed.

However, when someone with substance use disorder stops treating their addiction, they can become restless, irritable and discontent. Their mind can begin making them think that a drink is okay and that it will be different the next time, even though their past will tell them otherwise.

If you need help being sober without being miserable, learn what we can do for you.

Find Healing At Renewal Lodge

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Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
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