This article by Tim Powers appeared on Sober Nation just a few days ago. We were so inspired by it that we wanted to share it with our readers. You may read the original post here.
In gratitude, harmony and support,
8 Things Sobriety Promises You In Recovery
By Tim Powers
Drugs and alcohol deliver nothing but heartbreak and broken promises. During your active addiction, substances become your higher power, guiding force, and reason for living. When you finally make the commitment towards recovery, you wonder if you will ever experience true happiness. Fortunately, sobriety actually delivers on the promises that drugs and alcohol fail to make. In this article, we will break down the 8 important things that sobriety promises you in your life of recovery.
Recovery Will Never Fail You
Whether you use drugs and alcohol to cope with the stresses of everyday living or to unwind after a long day, you expect substances to fill a void in your life. When casual experimentation and use turns into abuse and addiction, substances become your guiding force. In drug treatment, you get the tools and support you need to break the vicious cycle of addiction once and for all. While you feel great and look great, there can be doubt regarding the things that sobriety promises you in your recovery journey.
As you grow in your sobriety, you will begin to reap the rewards of living a recovery-based lifestyle. You may not notice these changes immediately, but they will become natural to you with each passing day. While you will experience periods where you feel like you are on shaky ground, remembering all the things that sobriety promises you will help you navigate those turbulent waters. Recovery will bring stability to your life, and become a new, positive guiding force in your life.
Sobriety Promises You That You Will Be Comfortable Being Social
One of the most important things that sobriety promises you in recovery is the ability to be more at ease and comfortable being social. For many people who struggle with addiction, substance become a security blanket in social situations. We depend on drugs and alcohol to make any event fun and to make us the life of the party by lowering our inhibitions. In recovery, you can learn that you can stay sober and actually have fun – no matter what the situation. When you gain confidence in your recovery, you become more comfortable in your skin. Ultimately, you become more and more able to share your real self with friends, acquaintances, and loved ones.
When You Are Sober, You Are Safe
Another one of the important things that sobriety promises you in recovery is that you will not put yourself in dangerous situations. When under the influence of drugs and alcohol, the warm and secure feelings that you experience often give you a false sense of security. While you may not be afraid or “feeling any pain,” you may be engaging in risky behavior such as driving drunk, having unprotected sex, or other activities that can put you at risk. In sobriety, you better understand yourself, as well as those triggers that can potentially lead you to relapse and the unsafe behaviors that put you and the people you care about in danger.
You Can Find Ways to Truly Relieve Stress
Perhaps the biggest excuse addicts use to indulge in drugs and alcohol is to relieve the stresses that life throws at them. It isn’t an uncommon occurrence to hear someone say they need to use to relieve the pressures of the day. But, substances only relieve stress in the short term – the immediate gratification of a drink or drug is always short-lived and doesn’t do anything to address the actual problem. In recovery, you are able to address the underlying causes of stress. Once those causes are recognized and understood, you can use healthy stress relief techniques to help minimize the negative effects of stress.
You Get Your Personality Back
In active addiction, it’s easy to tie your well-being and personality to your use of substances. With a drink or other drug at hand, you might’ve thought you were witty, charming, personable, and the life of the party. While you may have had your moments, addiction clouded your reality and what people thought of your behavior. To many people, you were probably obnoxious, embarrassing, and difficult to be around. Sobriety gives you the ability to discover who you truly are. Being sober allows you to truly show people who you are without the mask. Additionally, you are able to accept all of your personality traits – both good and bad.
In Sobriety, You Are Better Able to Relieve Pain
In your recovery from substance abuse, you understand that the use of drugs was merely a symptom of a deeper issue. More often than not, those issues revolve around physical and/or psychological pain. Much like stress, substances provide temporary relief from pain, but they will never “cure” what you experience deep inside. Drug treatment helps you to address the underlying issues that kept you stuck in substance abuse. When you quit drugs and alcohol once and for all, you can come to terms with you pain. In recovery, you can put an end to harming yourself and those that you love the most.
One of the Most Important Things That Sobriety Promises You Is Happiness
Anything that we do in life has a singular purpose, and that is to make us happy. We as human beings are hardwired to feel pleasure and happiness. Substances can only provide temporary pleasure to us – and it comes at a price. No matter your mood, having a few drinks or doses would turn the ship around. While you may feel euphoric under the influence of substances, once they wear off you feel isolated, empty, and alone. As you progress in your drug and alcohol addiction, it takes more of your substance of choice to even feel emotions at all. Once you start the process of recovery, it takes time to gain control of what you feel.Eventually, you will come to understand that true happiness in sobriety is getting to know the real you.
Whether you are in early recovery or have substantial clean time, you will no doubt face hard times in your recovery. The stresses of everyday life can wear you down and leave you vulnerable to the temptations of substances. In those dark times, you must remember the things that sobriety promises you in recovery and employ the life skills and support you need to break free from those thoughts. Above all, have confidence in yourself. As you stay in recovery longer, you will gradually build this trust in yourself. You have come a long way and have both the strength and courage to grow.