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?

There could be other causes for feeling sober and miserable at the same time.

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.

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.

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.

We Understand the Obstacles

At Renewal Lodge we teach you more than how to get sober. We retrain your brain so you can stay sober. Discover Mindfulness in Recovery.
Take charge >