For many addicts who are just beginning or have yet to begin their journey through addiction recovery, the end result can seem scary. It is often difficult to imagine a life without drugs or alcohol when they have become so deeply ingrained in your lifestyle. However, recovery is something that should be celebrated, because aside from physically getting sober, there are so many other great things that happen in recovery too.
To help you get excited about your recovery journey, we have put together a list of the ten most common ‘side effects’ of sobriety that you can start to look forward to.
1. Substances do not Rule Your Life Anymore.
For so long, drugs and alcohol ran your life. That constant battle of trying to stay in control of your substance abuse is something you do not have to worry about anymore. You no longer have to waste time thinking about your next drink or drug fix. There is a sense of relief that comes with getting sober that is indescribable, a sense that the chains that held you to your addiction have been removed and you are free again.
2. You Finally Wake Up.
There are many feelings that come along with addiction, such as shame, guilt and despair, which are masked by drugs or alcohol leading to a feeling of disconnection from the world and people around you. These feelings may not disappear immediately, but they will over time. And you can look forward to feeling more awake and more connected once again to everyone and everything that surrounds you. You will experience a passion for living that you had lost to addiction.
3. You Can Become the Person you Were Always Meant to Be.
Instead of living in a hazed reality, addiction recovery offers you the opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow in a positive direction each and every day. This is the best time to really start getting to know yourself again, and working towards becoming the best version of yourself possible.
4. Your Friends and Family can Actually Rely on You.
In the depths of addiction, responsibility is tossed aside to make way for more “rewarding” activities such as drinking or taking drugs. Chances are you were not the best son/ daughter, parent, friend, spouse or coworker that you could be. Addiction recovery offers you the chance to rebuild those broken or injured relationships and become someone that your loved ones can truly count on. Relationships built in recovery are often the most rewarding because they are built on honesty, trust and humility.
5. You are Ruled by Your Soul Instead of Your Ego.
The ego rules an addict’s actions, seeking instant gratification at every opportunity. Unfortunately this leads to misery in the long-term, and a daily battle with the ups and downs of addiction. Sobriety offers the opportunity to reconnect with the soul and feed it with spiritual energy instead of substances, which has long-lasting positive effects. You are able to focus on the big picture, and can take actions each day that will positively affect your future.
6. Joy and Gratitude Come Easily.
The more you learn about yourself and grow, and the more you open yourself up to spiritual energy, the more you will naturally feel joy and gratitude on a daily basis – both emotions which are basically non-existence in addiction. During addiction, happiness is often created by substance abuse. It is superficial and fades quickly. The longer you care for and work on yourself in recovery, the more you will feel happy and thankful each and every day.
7. You Learn Better Ways to Cope With Life.
For anyone, life can sometimes feel like you are playing a board game without reading the rules. You do what you think is right and hope for the best. It can be overwhelming, though, and it is often in these times that addicts begin their journey to addiction – using substances to dilute their feelings of confusion, anxiety or fear. Addiction recovery teaches you better ways to deal with life situations that keep you alert, and send you in a more positive direction. Not to say that life will not still be confusing or scary sometimes, but with a clear head and the right tools learned in addiction treatment, you will find that you can navigate a rocky road much better.
8. You Actually Gain More than You are Losing.
You have may have lost drugs and alcohol, but you are gaining a new appreciation for life. You become a stronger version of yourself. You find new or old hobbies that interest you. You learn to say no to activities that you do not want to do, and focus on what truly makes you happy. You gain the ability to live a life you truly desire, instead of simply going through the motions. And that is something to be grateful for.
9. Being Sober is Cool.
You will soon find out that sobriety is actually pretty cool. Friends, family and coworkers will have a newfound respect for you for healing yourself and doing what it takes to become a strong, healthy, happy and self-assured individual. And you can take pride in the fact that you no longer need to hide behind drugs or alcohol to handle life and have a great time.
10. Recovery is a Complete Transformation.
From feeling hopeless to hopeful, from being broke, exhausted and miserable to being more financially secure, full of energy and joyful – you will feel like an entirely new person in the best sense possible. You will feel optimistic about the future and will gain more and more confidence in yourself with each and every passing day.
Yes, addiction recovery is a long and winding journey, and it will not always be easy. But if it means you have the opportunity to experience the above changes in your life, you can rest assured that it will be worth it!
Get Help for Your Addiction Today
Addiction is a chronic disease, which means that it will only get worse over time if left untreated. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction it is important that you seek help immediately. Contact us today to see how we can help you turn your life around.
(This article is the sole property of “The Cabin Chiang Mai”; they are its original authors)