Navigating sobriety can be a harrowing journey, and going it alone is not always the best option. This is especially so for those who have struggled with sober living in the past and have not successfully overcome their addictions.
A sober coach is someone that guides on the journey to sobriety. They might begin working with you at the start of recovery or complete rehabilitation to ensure that you can be successful on this path.
The benefits of working with a sober coach include:
- Accountability: A sober coach can help you to be accountable during your recovery process. You can work with your sober coach to establish parameters surrounding communication during your recovery. Once you determine what boundaries will exist with your sober coach, they can hold you to those parameters to ensure that your recovery is a successful one. Some sober coaches will require you to sign a contract that stipulates what behaviors are acceptable and not. This provides you with accountability in black and white that stipulates exactly what you agree should happen if you break the rules of your sober living agreements. Since the early days of recovery can be so precarious, a sober coach may need to be more stringent with the rules at first to help you learn how to live without abusing substances.
- Recovery resource: A sober coach can help you to be accountable during your recovery process. You can work with your sober coach to establish parameters surrounding communication during your recovery. Once you determine what boundaries will exist with your sober coach, they can hold you to those parameters to ensure that your recovery is a successful one. If you require assistance in any area of your sobriety, a sober coach can help you find what you need and show you how to access it. This could be anything from a local recovery meeting to job-seeking resources to support groups and beyond. The more resources you have at your disposal, the more likely you will succeed in your recovery. Because the resources can sometimes be overwhelming, having one point person – a sober coach – can be helpful.
- Shared problem-solving: Working with a sober coach means having someone to strategize on problem-solving issues as you navigate recovery. This is especially important in the early days of recovery, when you may not yet have mastered the tools for coping with stress necessary to avoid falling back into the throes of substance use and abuse. A sober coach can help you learn what those tools are and how and when to employ them. It helps to have someone with which to strategize problems as they crop up.
- An empathetic listener: Another benefit of having a sober coach is that you have someone in your corner who can empathize with what you are experiencing in your quest to get sober. After all, someone who has never had to go through getting sober may not understand how emotional it can be and how rigorously challenging it gets as you get better. A sober coach can be an empathetic listener as they likely understand just what you are experiencing. This may help you to feel less alone as you navigate your newfound sobriety.
- Easier transition: The transition to sober living can be jarring, especially if you recover in an entirely different environment. The transition from rehab can be lonely and can contribute to relapse because of the difficulty. A sober coach can make this transition easier, introducing you to other people going through the same thing as you and providing sober living resources that can help you to carve out an entirely new life for yourself.
- Long-term support: Sobriety is a long-term journey and is most successful when navigated one day at a time. A sober coach can provide you with long-term support as you navigate recovery. After all, things may seem manageable in the time just after rehab, but months down the road, when you may be struggling with temptation or stress that may be compelling you to make poor decisions, a sober coach can be good support. Even when you feel as though you have navigated recovery successfully, it helps to remember that recovery is a process that unfolds one day at a time. Having a sober coach provides you with someone you can talk to even if you get to the stage of checking in occasionally.
Finding a Sober Coach
Finding a sober coach is best done through whatever rehabilitation facility you are working with, as they likely access this resource. Those struggling with alcoholism can often find a sober coach through programs like AA.
It is important to find someone who is properly certified and experienced in helping others to overcome substance abuse. While it may be tempting to ask someone who is further along in their sobriety to act as a coach, it is best to choose someone that does this as a profession.
After all, you will likely come to rely on your sober coach to get you through some of the rough patches of sobriety. Someone that is still new to managing their sobriety themselves or someone who does not have a great deal of time under their belt is in the precarious position of actively managing their own recovery.
When looking for a sober coach, the best thing to do is request one through a rehab caseworker or even a local addiction center. This ensures that when you hire a sober coach, you choose someone well-versed enough in the recovery process to hold you accountable during your recovery while also maintaining boundaries.
Click here to learn more about the benefits of having a sober coach as you navigate sobriety.