Substance abuse and addiction can take a toll on the way others view us and the way we view ourselves. In fact, drug abuse itself is often a symptom of low-self esteem and self-hate. Conversely, getting sober (and staying that way) is just as much a physical process as it is an emotional and psychological one. It’s no easy feat but the endeavor is truly a life-changing experience.
Many great things happen when you get sober and some of the best things aren’t necessarily tangible. Instead, they happen on the inside. If you are new to sobriety or you’re thinking about ditching the harmful substance abuse habits in your life, here are seven positive things you might realize about yourself when you get sober.
1. You can trust yourself.
Gone are the days of lying to all your friends and family and going back on the commitments you’ve made to yourself. When you finally get sober, you make the bold decision to hold yourself accountable and take responsibility for your actions. It doesn’t happen overnight, but as you work to make changes, you’ll gain massive amounts of self-respect and learn how to trust yourself.
2. You can be a morning person and be productive.
Constant hangovers make it difficult to be productive, let alone get up at a normal time in the morning. This can cause problems with work, school, or loved ones who rely on you to maintain your responsibilities and commitments. When you get sober, you can say goodbye to those hangovers and start taking advantage of the great things that come with it, like longer days, more productive mornings, and more time and opportunities to reflect and grow on a personal level.
3. You can cope.
Most people who abuse drugs and alcohol use them to cope with uncomfortable emotions, difficult circumstances, or physical/mental trauma. Deciding to get sober is hard because, first, you’re admitting you need help, and second, you’re committing to doing life without your primary coping strategy: drugs! This is challenging but completely possible. As you work your program, rely on other sober people for support, and challenge yourself to grow and change, you’ll find that you can cope without drugs and alcohol, that you are capable, and that you are stronger because of it. You just needed the opportunity and the time to develop those skills.
4. You have self-control.
Getting sober may seem impossible at times, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see that you do have the ability to permanently change your life for the better. At times in recovery, you’ll want to use, but you won’t. Or you will, but then you’ll get back on track. In doing so, you’ll recover your sense of self-control and feel more confident because you know that you’ve done it before and you can do it again. This is called resilience and it’s an important aspect of life in recovery.
5. You can be a good friend.
Everyone has the ability to be a good friend, but if you’re too busy abusing drugs and manipulating everyone to get what you want, you’ll never find your way to genuine relationships and friendships. If you follow the 12-Step Programme, when you go through the process of making amends, you’ll have to embrace some difficult encounters and understand that not all relationships can be salvaged. However, as you move forward and establish new, healthy relationships while working to repair the old ones, you’ll realize that you do have the ability to be a good friend. It just takes time and work.
6. Good things can happen to you.
When you are trapped in addiction, you get used to being down on your luck, having financial problems, losing friends, and maybe even facing criminal charges. When you take responsibility for your actions, your eyes will be open to the new opportunities that come your way and you’ll be ready to take them and make the most of them. Even if you fail or struggle with relapse, having a taste of sobriety can give you a more positive outlook on life and motivate you to keep working for change.
7. You have interests and skills that you never knew about.
If you used to abuse drugs as a way to have fun and socialize, when you get sober, you’ll be forced to find alternative sober activities. This may sound like a chore, but it’s really a great thing! As you explore new activities and expand your horizons, you’ll likely discover that you have interests and skills you never even knew about. These new interests and hobbies can also help give you purpose at a time in your life when you may be struggling to find out what your life looks like without mind-altering substances.
Getting sober has several great benefits and it’s a decision that will most likely improve your outlook on life. If you’re ready to make a change or you need help getting back on track, call The Bridge Foundation today to speak with one of our team members.