Getting past an addiction is difficult, and you might sometimes wonder if you have what it takes. The answer is yes, you do. Check out these seven perks to living a sober life, then take the steps you need to in order to overcome your addiction.
1. You’ll Be Physically Healthier
When you give up alcohol and drugs for a sober life, your physical health will begin improving quickly. No longer under the influence of dangerous substances, your brain, liver, heart, and other organs won’t be working to counteract the effects of the drugs. Giving up alcohol can even lower your risk of developing certain types of cancer, including esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and liver cancer.
In addition to these immediate health benefits, you’ll likely find that you’re making healthier choices that lead to better nutrition, better sleep, and more exercise. It’s likely that you’ll begin making better choices when it comes to what you’re eating. Depending on the substance that you’re dependent on, you might be eating too much or too little. Eliminating it from your body will help you follow your body’s lead when it comes to eating what you need to maintain a healthy weight. Sleeping better and making time for exercise will also boost your health.
2. Your Relationships Will Improve
If you are addicted to a substance and you are always seeking your next high, it’s difficult to maintain good relationships. During an addiction, it’s common for people to step away from old friends. You might have dropped yours entirely while seeking out the friendships of other people struggling with addiction. You might also have very strained relationships with your family members.
Giving up the drugs will likely strengthen your relationships. It might take some time as people begin to trust you again, but once you show that you are serious about your recovery, your friends and family members will likely become very supportive. Helping you get through your recovery can also bring you and your loved ones closer.
3. You’ll Look Better
When you are taking good care of yourself, you begin to look healthier. As previously mentioned, you will be more likely to be able to maintain a healthy weight, which will help you to look and feel good. Your skin and hair will also probably improve; drugs and alcohol can give your skin and hair a dull look, but in time, those damaged cells will be replaced by new, healthy cells.
In addition, you’ll carry yourself better and will probably pay more attention to your looks. You might have neglected your appearance before, so once you begin taking some extra time to fix your hair, wear clothes that fit nicely, and put on some moisturizer and makeup if you use it, people will start to take notice.
4. You’ll Have More Money
Drug and alcohol use and abuse can impact the way you go through money in more ways than just one. The obvious reason that you’ll have more money is that you won’t be spending it on substances. Think about the amount of money that you spent on drugs or alcohol and then think about what you could spend that money on instead!
In addition, you’ll be in the position to make healthier choices all around, and this includes your finances. You might find yourself better able to save money, pay bills, and budget your finances more effectively.
5. You’ll Have More Time
You might be surprised at how much extra time you have on your hands once you get through rehab and start living a sober life. Of course, you’ll still be going to counseling and support group meetings as part of your aftercare plan, but the time that you used to spend acquiring, using, and recovering from your chosen substance will suddenly open up.
What will you do with your newfound time? You could use it to get a part-time job, volunteering, reading, learning a new skill, or simply spending more time with your family and friends. It might take you some time to decide what you want to do, and that’s fine too. You can get to know yourself better and put some time into thinking about what you’d like to do with your life.
6. You’ll Have More Energy
When you’re in better health, doing things that you enjoy, and not worrying as much, you’ll find that you suddenly have quite a bit more energy. Not only will you have more energy, but it will remain relatively consistent throughout the course of the day or week. You won’t have as many highs or lows, so you’ll be more productive in general. When paired with all of the extra time you now have, you will discover that you can do anything!
7. You’ll Feel Better About Yourself
Perhaps the most important perk to living a sober life is that you will feel so much better about yourself. No longer will you have to hide what you are doing. You’ll have much less shame about your present and your past. You’ll look better and your health will be better, you’ll have time to contribute to your family and to society the way you want to, and you’ll be doing better in school and at work. Finances will be less stressful. Your whole life will function more smoothly, and all of this will help you realize that you can overcome difficult situations. You will recognize your own strength and while you will have trying times, you will feel great about how far you’ve come.
The perks of living a sober life far outweigh the adrenaline rush of abusing substances. Addiction is difficult to overcome, but many people do it every day. During the recovery process (which can last a lifetime), you will have good days and bad days. Jot down how you are feeling and what benefits you’re experiencing on the easier days so that you can refer to your list on the difficult days. With strong inner resolve, a supportive family, good friends, and excellent treatment, you can join those who have overcome addictions and gotten their lives back on track. If you are struggling with an addiction, contact your primary care physician or a mental health professional. They will put you in touch with the addiction specialists who can help you. You can do it!
Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.