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If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you might have trouble envisioning what your life would look like after getting sober. Nobody ever said it would be easy to live a substance-free life, and it will require hard work, dedication and constant vigilance on your part to fulfill your recovery goals and keep your life moving in a positive direction.
To succeed, you need to have something that keeps you motivated on your darkest days and gives you something to look forward to. Keeping that in mind, here are eight of the most exciting things you’ll probably experience once you are living life in sobriety.
1. Your Relationships Become More Meaningful
As the cycle of addiction deepens, you will begin to prioritize your substance of use above all else. Your most enduring and important relationship will eventually be with alcohol or drugs – not with other people in your life. As a result, many addicts struggle to maintain healthy relationships with family members, romantic partners and co-workers.
When you are drinking or using, it cuts into the quality time you could be spending with the people you care about. And, if you only feel “normal” when you’re drunk or high, you’re not able to present an authentic version of yourself to others. People may think they know you well, but in reality, they only know what you’re like when you’re impaired by substance use.
Getting sober will turn your life around. You’ll start feeling genuine emotions, and you can take pride in yourself again. Your family and friends can finally see the real you, and you will be able to be present for them when they need you.
2. You Will Have a Sharper Memory
Substance use and memory loss go hand in hand. In the haze of addiction, important details like birthdays or doctor’s appointments can slip through the cracks. But you’ll find that fog clearing almost immediately after getting sober. Your focus will sharpen as you rediscover who you are without drugs and alcohol standing in your way.
3. You’ll Have More Money in the Bank
Maintaining an addiction can be a costly habit. If your addiction is severe enough, you may be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on drugs or alcohol every month. If you struggle to make ends meet because all your money goes toward funding your habit, you might even have found yourself willing to steal to get enough for your next dose.
Once you’re sober, your bank account will thank you. You’ll be able to put some money aside for a rainy day, stop living paycheck to paycheck and will have more to spend on healthy things such as a gym membership. Many former addicts find it profoundly gratifying to have enough money to do things like treating themselves to a new outfit or taking a sober supporter out to a thank-you lunch.
4. You’ll Have More Energy
Substance use can dramatically impact your sleep cycle, causing you to either sleep much more or much less than you need to stay healthy. Addiction saps your body’s natural reserves of energy and leaves you feeling chronically fatigued.
In the earliest days of your sobriety, you’ll probably be listless for about a week. After that, you should start noticing your energy levels improving more with each passing day. Before too long, you’ll be getting up each morning with a renewed sense of enthusiasm to take on any challenges head-on.
5. You’ll Have a Healthy Glow
Substance use can leave you with dark circles under your eyes, puffiness in your face, sallow skin, brittle hair and a host of other telltale problems with your appearance. You might look years older than your true age.
When you stop drinking or using, those problems will go away as your body begins to heal itself. Getting sober can also give you a sense of inner peace that radiates outward from your spirit, making you more attractive to everyone you meet.
6. You Can Enjoy Extra Free Time
Between the hours you spend using drugs or alcohol and planning how, where and when you will get your next dose, maintaining an addiction is basically a full-time job. As the addiction becomes increasingly all-encompassing, you begin to ignore hobbies you used to enjoy and people you used to love hanging out with.
Once you sober up, you will discover yourself with an astonishing amount of free time. If you’re not prepared for this, it can be overwhelming. With this in mind, plan for how you will spend the hours of your day that you used to spend on keeping up with the demands of your addiction. Resume old favorite pastimes, or pick up new ones that keep you busy enough to fend off boredom and prevent a relapse.
7. Your Life Becomes More Fun
Most addicts have a firmly established mental link between substance use and having fun. You become so accustomed to drinking and using drugs at events like parties, sporting events and concerts that you might not believe you’re capable of having fun in sobriety.
Once you get sober, you’ll start to reconnect with your real personality, and you’ll understand more about the underlying reasons you developed a substance misuse disorder in the first place. At the same time, your body and brain will start to heal themselves and rebalance your hormones. With time, you’ll feel better sober than you did while you were using.
8. You Will Feel Great About Yourself
Nobody should feel like they need to rely on a substance to feel good about themselves, but sadly, many people do. When you don’t feel like yourself unless you are drunk or high, using becomes a vicious cycle.
At first, after getting sober, you might feel a little lost. But that will slowly change as you realize how much healthier and happier you feel without drugs and alcohol clouding your perspective. You will also be able to step back and appreciate how strong you are for achieving everything you have accomplished so far. You will experience renewed confidence and pride in yourself as a person in recovery.
Getting Sober Can Be a Gift to Yourself
If you are still drinking and using, the idea of getting sober might feel like an insurmountable challenge. But the good news is that you have the inner strength to complete a treatment program and come out as a new person on the other side. Your journey toward recovery starts today, with your confidential call to us at Beach House.