What are Reservations in Sobriety?

what is a reservation in recovery from addiction

Life is such a short and mysterious thing we get the privilege to experience. The days can drag on but the weeks fly by in the blink of an eye. Then time is brought into the mix. Time is this tricky thing that takes a hold while it catches us off guard and before we know it- a substantial amount of our lives have passed by. We turn around and take a look back scratching our head at where it all went. This is especially true for addicts and alcoholics. Most of us spent so much time in drunken stoopers or nodding off that we lost track of time tenfold. Then at some point, most of us realized enough was enough and we entered the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and became sober. Now we are able to remember what we had for breakfast the day before and whether mom’s birthday is next week or not. We begin to develop patterns in our lives and we gain back our sense of time.

So the position we’re slowly shuffling along to is that in this life of ours, we all have some sort of a bucket list. Maybe it’s written down somewhere on a piece of paper, or maybe it’s all mental. The point is that in this vast life full of new experiences, we always crave the next better thing. Living in a world occupied by human beings with a would’ve, could’ve, should’ve mentality. We live in our minds by the idea of “what if”. For us addicts and alcoholics, we turn these into reservations in sobriety. Webster’s dictionary defines a reservation as “an arrangement to have something held for your use at a later time”. Or even if you look at the alternate definition it states “a feeling of doubt or uncertainty”. Both of these apply to having some sort of a stipulation once in recovery.

What it boils Down To

Only speaking generally here, but most addicts and alcoholics have a problem with acceptance at the end of the day. We want what we want and when we want it. We want to know what’s going on and to have our crystal ball tell us all the answers to our problems in life. A lot of these problems are irrational issues that we create in our heads. Oh! that’s another one we’re great at, making mountains out of molehills that is. Coming to reality and accepting life on life’s terms is a difficult habit to get into, especially if you are indeed somebody living by the “what if” code. Acceptance is connected like a string of lights to our emotional sobriety and well-being. Yes, we all know how much emotions like to get in the way of things sometimes. Good thing or bad thing- I don’t know. Once we can live with the reality of a situation and not feel the need to fight it, that’s when we can begin to coincide with life.

So accepting our lives the way they are and knowing when we can or cannot change something, this is a big key component to recovery. However, this does tie back into the idea of living in the now- right here in the present. Many people live in the past or the future and not just those in recovery. When we begin to future trip and live too far ahead of ourselves, this is when reservations in sobriety start to become imminent. Realistically, it makes sense to always have some sort of a game plan laid out. We don’t want there to be too much impulsivity, but at the same time, life very seldom follows the blueprints we create for it. Then this of course goes back full circle to the accepting and the trying to change the outcome of life.

negative thinking will never make your life positive

Give Me an Example

Much of the time when we addicts and alcoholics get clean, we are uncertain about it for some minor period. This isn’t the case for all, of course. Having this feeling is very natural because obviously, we wouldn’t be sitting here reading this if we could continue getting drunk or high in some form or fashion. Getting into an altered state of mind is something we do best. Clearly, we loved it enough to stop loving ourselves until the point where an ultimatum of some sorts had to be decided upon. For some, we hold onto these ideas of how different things are going to be. “Maybe people won’t like me when I’m sober”. Or even, “how am I going to have fun or enjoy life when there aren’t any drugs or alcohol”?

Eventually, these little seedlings of ideas begin to sprout into the basic reservations in sobriety which turn into ideas like getting a year clean and then maybe using once that goal is succeeded.  These are the little things we plant in our heads that will cause the best of us to relapse and start back on that miserable path of active addiction. Remember, it’s important to stay out of that “what if” mind zone. That state of mind plays a large role with justifying ghastly ideas and other actions we know better than to do.

To put it simply, having a handful of reservations will heavily hinder your spiritual and emotional growth. If somebody has a list of these reservations, it will, unfortunately, keep the individual in a closed minded state. That closed minded state is the way we ran our lives whiles using. Do you see the connection by chance? To limit our built up reservations means to be willing and to accept life as life see’s it. Keeping this frame of mind is how we clear a path for success in sobriety.

More than Just Reservations?

For some of us, the only reservation we had was to get high or drunk. If this is the case, you are not alone in the slightest. Addiction and alcoholism are an ugly disease that will stop at nothing to ruin anybody’s life it can. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 1-866-802-6848 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

Content Reviewed by Jacklyn Steward

Jacklyn StewardJacklyn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and an EMDR trained trauma therapy specialist with over 6 years of experience in the field of addiction. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.