I was addicted to drugs and alcohol– and still am. My sobriety has been an amazing gift
Nine years. That’s how long ago I decided to make the positive change in my life and get sober. It was probably the best decision I could ever make.
The journey hasn’t been easy, but all of the rewards have easily surpassed the difficulties and the struggles I have faced. I still remember my time dealing with alcohol and drug abuse like it was yesterday. Every single day of my sobriety since I made the decision get sober has required immense mental fortitude and personal strength.
The thing is, your personal demons will always be with you as you are working towards sobriety. The key is learning to confront them head on and to replace your bad habits with positive ones.
The good news is that things definitely get easier over time. At the height of my addiction, I was always looking to alter my state of mind. But I’m done with that now. And today I can honestly say I am living my best life.
I am a successful entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and a positive thinker. Now, instead of waking up every day looking forward to my next high, I look forward to bettering myself and making a lasting positive impact on the world and the people that matter most to me.
It took a serious fall from grace, which led to my spending time in jail on drug-related charges, for me to realize that I had no choice other than to make a dramatic change in my life. I decided to get sober and haven’t looked back since.
I have experienced countless positive effects on my body and in my life since I decided to get sober. Below, I’ve prepared a list of 7 of these compelling positive outcomes that I have experienced since quitting drugs and alcohol in hopes that it will inspire you to make a change in your life.
Remember, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step…
1. Increased Self-Esteem
Sure, the first days of my recovery were extremely tough. The chemical composition of my brain was so used to relying on drugs and alcohol to get through the day that my body physically demanded those substances to function.
However, by checking myself into drug rehab, I was able to deal with those urges with the help of professionals. After I started seeing real progress with my recovery, my self-esteem started improving dramatically.
I felt better about myself because I knew I was taking the appropriate steps towards living a healthier life. This increased self-esteem has already led to countless blessings and opportunities, and every day ahead brings even more.
2. Improved Self Image
At the height of my addiction, my physical appearance had been affected dramatically by all of the substance abuse I had put my body through. I was an addict, therefore I looked like an addict.
A few weeks after I quit using alcohol and drugs, I started to notice the bags under my eyes disappearing. My skin began clearing up and, after a while, even glowing. I was getting back to a healthy weight and started seeing myself in a new light when I looked in the mirror.
This improved my self-image and what I thought of myself when I was out in public.
I gained more confidence in myself and it paid off in a big way with regards to all of my relationships and interactions with other people.
3. More Energy
Another powerful benefit of quitting my drug and alcohol abuse was a large increase in my energy levels. When I was using drugs, I constantly felt drained and lethargic every day when I woke up until I used. I needed those substances to function.
After a few weeks of sobriety, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for anything that the day brought my way. I was amazed at how much I could accomplish in a day due to the increased energy I had.
4. Stronger Focus Level
During my struggles with addiction, I was kind of just floating through life without any real direction. I wasn’t progressing with my work, my relationships, or my finances. Honestly, I was only focused on supporting my drug and alcohol habits.
After I cut those substances out of my life, I gained a razor-sharp focus. I began learning about digital marketing and entrepreneurship and decided it was a path I wanted to take. My days began to have true meaning, and, although some days have been hard, I haven’t looked back ever since.
5. Better Sleep
Another strong physical benefit to quitting drugs and alcohol is receiving a much better night’s sleep. Sleep is absolutely paramount to living a healthy life and feeling good as you go about your days.
The drugs and alcohol I was abusing were negatively affecting my sleep patterns and circadian rhythm. After I quit, I started sleeping like a baby and waking up reinvigorated on a daily basis.
6. No More Brutal Hangovers
Anyone who has gone out for a night of binge drinking will tell you, the next morning is a struggle. A hangover is basically your body telling you “Hey buddy, this is what you get when you poison your body with gallons of alcohol!”
They are never fun to deal with. Obviously, if you cut alcohol out of your life, you won’t have to suffer any more crippling hangovers in the morning and can start your day on the right foot rather than spending the day recovering in bed.
7. More Meaningful Relationships
Let’s be honest, when you drink alcohol, your standards can be significantly lowered in terms of the romantic partners you are looking to attract. It’s an unfortunate reality of binge drinking, we tend to make decisions we wouldn’t otherwise make if we were sober.
After I quit drinking alcohol, I started focusing more on meaningful relationships with partners who I would be proud to bring home to mom. If you stop drinking alcohol, you can avoid lowering your standards and having to deal with drunken hookup regrets.
As you can tell, there is some true life-changing positive effects to be gained by cutting drugs and alcohol out of your life and getting sober. Staying sober is a process, but with the right support from the people around you and a strong mindset I know you can reap the rewards that sobriety will bring!
Have you experienced any of the positive effects above after getting sober? Which of these benefits is the most important to you? Please leave a comment below to share your thoughts with our community!
This post was authored by Guy Counseling contributor, Andy Marcia with North Point Recovery, a drug and alcohol rehab facility in Idaho.