Imagine Yourself Sober

Some psychologists use something called a ‘miracle question’.  The miracle question asks you to imagine what your life could be like.  It is usually phrased as an invitation:  “If you could change something about your life right now, what would you choose to change?”  What if you could terminate your addiction by merely wishing to do so?  If there were no need for treatment, it would be much easier to live a sober life.  If there were no need to endure the suffering of withdrawal, ending your addiction would be much easier.  If you did not have to deal with the guilt and shame that may be associated with your addiction to alcohol or other drugs, beginning a new kind of life would be something that you could be confident about.  While miraculously ending your addiction and everything attached to it is really not possible, it can still be useful for you to imagine a life without alcohol or drugs.  If you’re wondering how this kind of imagined recovery can benefit you, here are some ways.

First, imagining a life without drugs can help you to think about how your life will be different if you quit using drugs.  You will probably spend your time differently.  You will likely also spend your time with different people.  The way you spend your money will be different, too.  In other words, imagining a life without alcohol or other drugs will help you to think about the kind of person you want to be and the kind of life you want to live.

Second, imagining a life without alcohol or other drugs will help you know what kinds of skills you will need.  How will you handle the challenges, suffering and stress of life?  Previously, drugs had been a kind of crutch you used to help you deal with your problems.  Take away that crutch, and you will need to develop different ways to cope with your problems.

Imagining a sober life will also help you to think about what kind of people you will be spending your time with.  Continuing to hang around with people who still use drugs while you’re in recovery simply won’t work.  You may need to make some new friends and find different places to spend your time.  Are there people in your life who are living a sober life?  Those are the ones you want to spend time with.  Spending time at places where you formerly abused drugs may very well undermine your recovery.  What people will you spend your time with and where will you visit with them?

Imagine yourself sober, then become that person you imagine.

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