I am Sober. What Now?

Sober person

After getting sober and going to treatment, it can be challenging to figure out your next step. Hopefully, the treatment center you complete will help you set up some plans for the future. If not, we wanted to provide this article to assist you as take your first sober steps. Life is a fantastic journey and getting sober and your life on track is only the beginning.

Things to think about:

Sober life needs to be more fulfilling and enjoyable than it was when you were using. Many addicts used drugs because they struggled with something or got bored with something, and they used drugs to either numb or distract themselves from those things they didn’t like or couldn’t deal with in their life. This is why brainstorming what you want your life to be like going forward is time well spent. This can include anything like where you want to end up living, to what career you want to have, and what you spend your spare time doing.

Writing out Your Plan:

Things can change quickly in life, so writing your ideas and plans down helps, especially when you consider that a goal has many parts. For example, let’s say someone getting out of treatment has always wanted to build guitars for a living. Let's call this imaginary person Jack. Jack’s plan might look something like this.

Young sober man thinks

Example Plan:

  • Arrive home and spend the day with family
  • Start looking for a job (online and newspaper)
  • Research what it takes to become a guitar technician
  • See if there are any schools nearby that teach the trade
  • Start thinking of any resources to pay for materials or classes and if there is a family member who will assist with support, what can be provided or done for them in exchange
  • Discuss the career path with parents or significant other
  • Start working as soon as there is a job and set aside some money each paycheck to fund schooling
  • Spend free time learning and looking for an apprenticeship at a music shop or with a guitar tech
  • Add to the list this as I accomplish my goals

You may notice the end states to add to the list as targets are accomplished.

This is a good idea as you may start to have new goals as you move forward in life and making written plans with yourself is a valuable tool that you can use. These things do not always have to be work or school-related. However, when you first get out of treatment, they usually should be pretty detailed as it is important to start moving forward in life with specific activities and actions as soon as treatment ends. Do not take time off.

The goals you set do not always need to be huge. Smaller goals that may not be life-changing are also good to set. They can help you feel accomplished and maintain a positive outlook. Goals like saving up for a vacation or for something you have wanted for a while; a spa day, a video game, or going to a movie or play. Despite how daunting it can feel once you leave treatment, realize you have done the work by getting sober so you could have a better life.

Make sure to keep applying the things you learned in treatment and stay out of risky situations such as going to parties where people are drinking, starting romantic relationships with people who are not sober or worse, not respectful of your sobriety. Stay away from old friend groups that played into your substance abuse problems. Most of all, do not shy away from standing your ground because you are sober and don't want a drink or to smoke.

I have talked with many newly recovered addicts, and a common worry is they will be ostracized or become outcast socially. The reality is that anyone who would push you away because you have chosen a different path in life is not someone you should likely be around anyway. Standing up for yourself goes a long way towards creating a group of trustworthy people around you, so don't be afraid to stand up for yourself.

You can create the life you want to. Push forward and don't get stopped by obstacles that might get in your way. And above all do not get discouraged.

For more tips on staying sober visit:



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.