Addiction destroys relationships, seriously affects one’s mental and physical health, and makes life increasingly difficult for the addict and others. For those who do not struggle with addiction, it is often difficult to understand why an addict chooses to engage in destructive behaviors.
For an addict, on the other hand, the disastrous consequences of their addiction may not be readily apparent. Joe, a recovering alcoholic, puts it this way:
“Drinking, for me, was about escaping from the problems I had in my life. Taking that first drink was like sliding into a warm bath — comforting and familiar. Unfortunately, the first drink was never enough. Before long, instead of feeling better, drinking became like drowning. I knew I was in trouble, but I couldn’t fight my way back to the surface for air. I was trapped.”
If you feel like Joe, you are not alone. Addiction is a form of enslavement from which it is difficult to break free.
The good news is that you can break free. Once you take the first necessary steps to recovery, you will see that the benefits of staying sober make all your efforts worthwhile. Sobriety is life-changing, empowering, and worth every effort you take to achieve it.
Benefits of Sobriety
Here are some proven ways that sobriety will change your life for the better:
1) Sobriety improves your mental and physical health, potentially adding years to your life.
The negative effects of substance abuse on the human mind and body are well-documented. Reporting on research compiled from the CDC, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DailyMail.com published these startling statistics:
- Alcohol abuse shortens your lifespan by approximately 23 years.
- Cocaine abuse shortens your lifespan by approximately 34 years.
- Methamphetamine abuse shortens your lifespan by approximately 41 years.
- Methadone abuse shortens your lifespan by approximately 38 years.
- Heroin abuse shortens your lifespan by approximately 41 years.
The good news is that choosing sobriety can reverse some of the damage that your mind and body have endured during periods of addiction. Sobriety gives you mental clarity and a clean body. Consider it an investment in your future, and celebrate the positive impact you are having on your overall health and well-being every day you remain sober.
2) Sobriety gives you your freedom back.
While maintaining sobriety may be perceived as restrictive, it actually gives you your freedom back. Achieving and maintaining sobriety means that your addiction no longer controls your life. You do.
You have the freedom of choice, the freedom to create and maintain lasting relationships, and the freedom to be in charge of your own actions, mind, and life. No longer trapped in a cycle of destructive behaviors, you can be all that you want to be for yourself and for those around you.
3) Sobriety fattens your wallet.
Substance abuse typically has a disastrous impact on your finances.
When you are no longer in the stranglehold of an addiction, you can embrace a more mindful approach to life. Psychology Today gives this advice:
“Enjoy relating to the world and to your life not gripped at the throat by desire. Enjoy the inner peace that comes from not being compelled to do things that may feel good in the moment but have big lingering costs for you and others.”
Staying sober enables you to shed the shame and guilt of addiction. Knowing you are making a conscious choice to put distance between yourself and past destructive behaviors bolsters your confidence and self-respect. This leads to a more fulfilling life that includes contentment both alone and in your relationships with others.
Take Positive Steps Each Day
While you must put up a serious fight to remain sober, the benefits are worthwhile. Every step you take away from addiction is a step toward a better life.
We’re Here to Help
Take a step today. Contact us to access a support system that will help you achieve and maintain sobriety.