You may have heard it said, “you never know what you have until it’s gone.” This adage rings true for many individuals who have struggled with addiction. A person who doesn’t face a substance use disorder may take their energy level or physical mobility for granted. A person who has never faced an addiction may not realize the true financial freedom he has.
Once a person struggles with a substance use disorder, it can utterly change one’s perspective on life. When a person has a drug dependency, addictive habits take control of their emotions, mental health, relationships, finances, career and more. When you’re trapped, living as a slave to substance use, living a sober life sounds like true freedom.
The pattern of addiction can feel nearly impossible to break, and finding inspiration to amend your habits can make a difference on the tough days of recovery. Let this article serve as motivation to fuel your recovery, whether you’re on day one or 100.
Living a sober life
Two of the major hesitations for starting treatment for substance use disorder include fear of the difficulty of recovery and fear that life will become boring. To have a hopeful perspective on life and recovery all you need to do to dispel the first of these myths is to look at your addiction next to the challenge of sobriety. While early recovery especially is laden with hard battles and physical distress, the long-term outcome is much preferable to remaining in an addiction that has overrun your life.
Refuting the second fear likewise requires comparing your life when controlled by an addiction to a future life of sobriety. Surely part of the healing process demands that you find other sources of enjoyment and there are bound to be boring days, the pain an addiction brings isn’t worth the short-lived pleasure. Moreover, you’ll find that sobriety offers more meaningful enjoyment and you’ll be proud of the person you’ve become.
Benefits of sobriety
Drugs and alcohol can dull your experiences, impair your cognitive functioning and devastate the plans you had for your life. Getting sober will give you a new perspective on life regarding the way you look at the world, at others and at yourself. The benefits of sobriety are both varied and have a lot of weight to them. These aren’t just small perks of a new lifestyle, but a complete overhaul of the pain points you currently face.
Here are the most meaningful benefits of sobriety you can expect when you commit to treatment.
You’ll like the person you are
While anyone regardless of personality can face a substance use issue, one of the more common hallmark personality traits of people who struggle with addiction is low self-perception. Poor confidence and a low opinion of oneself can precede an addiction, or follow one. Many people seek out substances to escape insecurities, failures or perceived weaknesses, while others develop a low self-worth in reaction to the guilt they experience after returning to substance abuse again and again.
When you heal from an addiction, you won’t just be healing the body of a drug or alcohol tolerance. Professional treatment is designed to heal the underlying issues that contribute to addiction, meaning you’ll discover the root of the pain you feel towards yourself and make steps to mend it.
You’ll find when you’re sober that you like who you are, you are proud of your recovery journey and you aren’t hindered by overwhelming insecurity or guilt.
You’ll be able to do things you want to do
When your body is free from drugs and alcohol, you’ll have more mental clarity and feel physically better than you ever did in the midst of an addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when you get sober you’ll have better quality sleep and a reduced risk of mental and physical conditions after addiction. Also, the Coalition Against Drug Abuse states you’ll maintain a healthier weight. According to the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, you’ll have more job security, too.
Recovery from substance use gives you a new perspective on life because you’ll feel up to doing the things you’ve always wanted to do, and have the means to do them.
You’ll find deeper meaning
Many individuals find that in sobriety they experience a spiritual shift toward hope. The healing process is often accompanied by religious or spiritual growth and individuals who are living a sober life understand the meaning of freedom on an entirely different level.
You’ll do things you enjoy
Sobriety offers you opportunities you would never dream of experiencing in the throes of addiction. A dependency on drugs or alcohol requires a person to have access to both the substances themselves and a place to consume them on a daily or even hourly basis. This harmful pattern truly limits what you’re able to do.
Breaking free from a dependence on substance use allows you mental freedom, but also freedom in the sense that you can finally govern what you choose to do with your free time. You’ll find leisurely pursuits that you could never afford when your addiction required significant funds, and you’ll be able to go places you never thought you’d get to.
The activities you do in your daily life will also have more meaning. You’ll be able to appreciate simple things like family time or a relaxing night in when you’re not coming off a high, fretting about withdrawal symptoms or wondering about your next chance to use substances.
When sobriety is no longer a constant struggle and the danger of relapse slowly fades, you’ll finally get that taste of true freedom you’ve been longing for. Instead of desperately trying to get that next fix, you’ll be enjoying the peace and excitement of your life, knowing you put in the work and deserve to enjoy it.