Sobriety isn’t just a blessing – it’s something to earn, and be proud of. There are plenty of reasons to choose the benefits of sobriety over the haziness of addiction, aside from being physically healthier and more likely to keep you living to a ripe old age.
Sobriety isn’t just about not using anymore – it’s about being content with life, and having clarity in life. In this sense, clarity and this feeling of contentment refer to being in a place in your life where you’re happy with the way things are. Before you reach this point, you may still be in the emotionally turbulent area of early recovery. Sometimes, people quit drinking and remain “dry drunks”, struggling with many of the same emotions of anger and cynicism without any of the “benefits” of being drunk.
Obtaining the benefits of sobriety is more than just a matter of time – it takes demanding work. Some people must rededicate themselves to what’s most important in their life, after first discovering what that is. Others must transform themselves in a meaningful way, seeking out a new kind of person within themselves by discovering new things, making new friends and enjoying new experiences. And yet others realize that their life is great without drugs, and all they really needed to do was make amends and resolve old grudges.
If you need any motivation to get you to make the leap towards lasting sobriety, then look no further – here are a few benefits of sobriety that you’re unlikely to ever get while addicted.
The Benefits Of Sobriety – Living Life
The first benefits of sobriety is that you get to enjoy life again – and not just a shell of what it once was, but the fullest definition of life you can imagine. Life is bad and good, up and down, hot and cold. It’s hard and it’s easy, and it’s harder for some and easier for others. But it’s always interesting, different and full of opportunities to meet new people and take entirely new directions towards different paths.
Beating an addiction will free you up to the possibilities of dealing with many other problems in your life. Struggling with a terrible job you despise? Find another one. You don’t have to throw all caution to the wind and go after your dream at the expense of everyone you love, but ignoring the toxic aspects of your life is what led you to addiction in the first place. Sobriety teaches you to remove yourself from these situations, and put yourself and everyone else in a better place.
You’ll Make Better Memories
If there’s anything that addiction does well, it’s addle the brain. Methamphetamine and alcohol are some of the worst culprits – one causes brain damage while the other is prone to causing blackouts and memory loss. For many people struggling with alcoholism, not remembering most nights is normal. To keep up appearances, alcoholics will sometimes try and figure out what it is they might have done by making careful statements and watching subtle cues to figure out what happened.
When you’re sober, you not only remember your nights (and days, and mornings), but you remember them more clearly than ever. You’ll also make better memories; memories of enjoying a night out with friends without copious amounts of alcohol or other substances, and you’ll know exactly where you were the night before instead of waking up in a stranger’s apartment.
When was the last time you went to a social occasion that didn’t involve drinking, at night? When was the last time you took a walk outside and looked over the night sky, and the skyline? When was the last time a day felt like its full 24 hours and not a few hours with sharp cuts and memory loss in-between?
Not everyone struggling with addiction will have severe memory issues, but enough people do – and the differences can be staggering. The benefits of sobriety aren’t just about emotional clarity, but it’ll help you see things more clearly, and remember things as they were.
You’ll Relearn What It Means To Feel
When you’re addicted, it can be hard to feel “the right way.” Addiction not only clouds your judgment and messes around with your sense of pleasure, but it acts as a constant buffer against real emotion. Many people use drugs to deal with powerful and painful thoughts – when you first quit, those thoughts burst out of you like a cracked dam, and the result can be catastrophic at first, then enlightening, and then catastrophic again. Some people experience severe mood imbalances when going through recovery – others just plummet into depression, or maintain a manic disposition.
But once all that is over and the benefits of sobriety fully kick in, you’ll remember what it means to feel again – to feel sadness, joy, anger and all the other emotions at appropriate levels and at appropriate times. Life is meant to be experienced with all aspects of its spectrum, and when you cut out parts of it – such as numbing yourself through the constant artificial pleasures of addiction – the consequences to your sense of emotion are severe. Undoing that damage will give you an entirely new outlook on life – and it can help you fall in love with sobriety even more than ever before.
You’ll Understand What It Means To Cope In A Healthy Way
We all need to find ways to cope with stress – that is a natural part of life, and in many ways, it’s a necessary component of mental healthcare. Today, we need to be upfront with people about the realities of mental health issues and their link to extreme stress, and we need to offer solutions that don’t involve therapy and medicine – specifically, coping strategies that people can use to regulate their stress levels and prevent the onset of severe symptoms and conditions, including addiction.
The first thing you need to do is cut out all the unnecessary sources of stress. This may mean cutting back on work responsibilities, moving someplace quieter, or ending a relationship with a particularly toxic individual. When you have done all, you can in that regard, it’s time to learn to cope with what’s left.
Addiction is a coping mechanism, but it is known as a maladaptive coping mechanism – instead of helping you deal with your problems constructively, it makes them worse. Art on the other hand can be an adaptive coping mechanism – instead of making things worse, it allows you to both relieve stress and adapt to the situation in a way that teaches you to be less stressful. The key with finding a healthy coping mechanism is to find a balance between stress and peace. You need your challenges and difficulties, but you also need to catch a break. Too much of one or the other can lead to mental health problems.
Being sober teaches you to control your stress levels through stress management tips and tools – and this helps you prevent relapses, and further eliminate the need for any drugs in your life.