Living Sober for My Kids

I had one of those classic “couldn’t do this if I was still boozing” parenting moments the other day. Our nine-year-old had a friend over for a sleepover late in the evening. At around 9:30 p.m., we were interrupted in the living room by a little boy in tears saying, “I want to go home!”

I phoned his mom, and because she was in bed already, I offered to drive him home. “Are you sure?” she asked. “No problem,” I said, “I just want him to be happy.” So in the car, we hopped—me in my socks!—and I drove him the two minutes back to his house. His mom met us outside the front and was extremely grateful. Little did she know that the entire time I was driving over there, all I could think was how great it was I could actually do this. I was mentally high-fiving myself all the way. Look at clever, sober me driving the car at night. This wouldn’t have been possible in my former life. Four and a half years ago, you’d likely find me on the sofa with at least a bottle of wine in my belly. No way I would have been able to drive.

The family program at Sanford Behavioral Health has been helping many families living in sober living achieve great success. Through counseling, holistic therapies, and support from other families living in sober homes, parents can learn how to better cope with life’s challenges without turning to alcohol or drugs. Don’t wait to reach out to Sanford Behavioral Health at 616.202.3326 to get the help you and your family deserve.

Living Sober

Only by living sober week after week and experiencing my emotions in all their raw glory have I gotten better at dealing with shit. But it has taken quite a while and a lot of practice. I’ve had to keep not drinking and allow myself the time and space to live and grow. I’ve had to experience, recover from and forgive myself for numerous anger outbursts, down days, and knee-jerk reactions. And slowly, I have improved at navigating my reactions to life events. Slowly I’m getting better at being a fully-fledged, fully-emotional human being. Slowly, I started to calm right down.

So now, when I’m faced with a tearful nine-year-old wanting to return to his bed, I’m not thinking, “How annoying. I wish he could just suck this up and go to sleep? I don’t want to move. How am I going to deal with this?” Instead, I’m thinking, “Poor boy has had a lot of change in his life recently. His mom did tell me he’s been experiencing nightmares. He’s obviously feeling a little emotionally shaky, and it’s probably embarrassing for him to break down at his friend’s house. I’ll do what I can to make him feel ok and safe again.”

The Changes in Sobriety

Getting sober has not only calmed me down and made me much more attuned to myself, but it’s also freed me up to be more empathetic and considerate of other people’s feelings. I love this. It makes me feel so good. So here I am driving at night, mentally high-fiving myself for being so present and reliable, feeling great that I am helping a fellow human (especially a young one navigating their way through childhood), and feeling proud of myself!! Such happy emotions! A real buzz.

The buzz continued when, safely back on the sofa again, I received a text from the boy’s mom, saying, “Thank you, that was above and beyond.” I’m telling you, if you could bottle that buzzy, happy, proud, satisfied feeling and sell it, you’d make far more money than anyone peddling shit booze ever could.

What Is Sober Living for Families?

Sober living can be an excellent option for families looking to improve their lifestyles. It is living without intoxication, whether that’s through alcohol, drugs, or any other substances. Families living sober will support one another in living healthier lives, with each person leading by example. Most resources allow family members to learn more about living sober, develop new coping skills, and share practical advice on how to stay motivated during challenging times. Sober living also allows people to build a strong sense of community with those on a similar journey. Plenty of resources are available to help ensure you have an enjoyable and positive experience.

Benefits of Sober Living

Living sober can be an invaluable and gratifying part of your journey. Taking a pledge to living sober is not only one of the bravest decisions you can make, but it also offers several tangible benefits that help you improve and change your life. Some key benefits of living a sober lifestyle can include:

  • Improved mental and physical health, including better sleep, less stress, and more energy
  • Increased productivity and focus in other areas of life, such as at work or school
  • Enhanced relationships with loved ones, as you can better connect with them without the distractions of substance use
  • Improved self-esteem and sense of accomplishment as you achieve your goals and overcome challenges
  • Increased feelings of happiness and joy, as living sober allows you to experience life more fully without the negative effects of substance use.

Living sober is a powerful choice that can help improve every aspect of your life. Whether you are looking to make a fresh start or simply improve your current way of living, living sober can help you achieve your goals and make the most of every day.

Learn More About Living Sober at Sanford Behavioral Health

At Sanford Behavioral Health, we understand the many challenges of living sober. Our team of experts provides guidance, support, and practical advice to help you make this journey a positive and rewarding experience. It’s not easy choosing to live sober. However, living a sober lifestyle can be incredibly rewarding with the right resources and support. A sober lifestyle can help you feel happier, more productive, and more engaged with the people and activities you love. If you’re ready to begin living sober, contact Sanford Behavioral Health to learn more about our programs and how we can help support your journey.

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Marilyn Spiller is a viral writer, recovery coach, and recovery advocate. She is the Marketing Director at Sanford, responsible for written and creative content, website design, new media, promotions, subscriber outreach, and SEO. Excursions Magazine is a particular source of pride; it serves a wide range of readers, and “excursion” has become part of the company vernacular, describing Sanford’s signature experiential outings for those in treatment. She also developed and hosts the podcast Anatomy of Addiction and is Vice President of the Board of JACK Mental Health Advocacy.