Sobriety can be a hard life to live, but one that’s extremely rewarding in the end. Understanding your own goals and why you personally want to become sober is the first step in truly living a sober life.
As hard as it might be, you can become sober. Your situation might seem dire at times but it certainly isn’t hopeless. Adjusting to a sober life isn’t the easiest thing, and struggling to adjust to it is a normal part of the process. If this is you, fear not! You’re not alone. Understand that this a normal part of the process and keep your goals in front of you.
What makes a sober life worth living? Remember all the times you had when you were sober. In everybody’s life one could think about one or two, and while that might not be all you need to be encouraged, let it be a major part of your healing process.
Goals are one of the main ways to create a path to permanent sobriety. While these goals can be broad, being as specific as possible will help you in the most dramatic way.
What’s the kind of person that you want to become? How do you think you can get there? Do you see yourself getting there? All important questions to ask and have general answers to. Again, the more specific the better. Going through these topics with a group can also yield much fruit if you have a group of people close to you that you can trust and know that they will have your best interest in mind.
Goals are not worth much if they only exist on paper. What are you gonna do to make these goals a reality? Again, generalities are good, but specifics are much better.
Learning how to create goals, set boundaries for them and then execute on your plans is not a skill that will be used only in rehab. It’s a skill that will forever be used, and one that you can perfect through your rehabilitation journey.
Benefits of Sobriety
Aside from the obvious, there are so many positives to getting sober. No more hangovers, hospitalizations, perhaps relationships you’ve lost could be rebuilt, etc.
Sobriety isn’t easy. Some benefits will be noticeable immediately and others take time. The benefits of sobriety certainly outweigh any potentially negative effects and the initial shock of withdrawal. Aside from the obvious (no more hangovers, hospitalizations, jail time, etc.), there are so many ways life is better when you’re sober.
7 Physical Benefits
Benefits of sober living go past just avoiding the inevitable hangover and such – it extends into your physical life too. Make the most of your life by empathizing with something below and turning it into your own goal. Here’s 7 quick ways that cutting alcohol can help you improve your physical life.
- Increased general health
Drug and alcohol abuse is harmful to nearly every organ in the body. Long-term substance abuse can even cause life-threatening diseases or medical conditions. These problems usually subside after drug/alcohol abuse, if there is proper treatment. Your story is not hopeless! Take heart and know that you can consider yourself “generally healthy” once again.
- Improved mental clarity
With time, the mental fog you’ve become accustomed to will fade and you’ll begin to feel more alert, focused, and present in your everyday life. The mental fog that most people live with day to day is not a normal part of life. You can be someone who’s 100% again – your mental clarity will come back with time.
- Longer and deeper sleep
Alcohol abuse is disruptive to sleeping patterns because it suppresses sleep. Though you may have trouble falling asleep when you first get sober, you will soon sleep peacefully through the night and feel more rested the next day. All the nights lost don’t have to be lost any longer. Take back control of one of the most basic bodily functions and get ready to be you again.
- Increased energy
Alcohol is a poison. It ruins your body and depletes your energy. Our bodies work on what we give them. Giving your body better fuel to run on will yield nearly instant results. Since you aren’t putting toxic chemicals in your body, you will have more energy and enthusiasm, get more done, and generally have more time to spare.
- Healthier skin and complexion
It takes approximately 28 days for your skin to renew itself. Within days of quitting alcohol, your skin will become more hydrated and less blotchy. By two weeks, your eyes will be brighter, cheekbones sharper. By the end of the month, not only will your face have lost its booze bloat, even your nails will be stronger.
- Decreased risk of long-term health issues, including cancer
Regular alcohol consumption can harm antibodies that fight cancer. Quitting drinking can greatly decrease an individual’s chances of cancer. People who drink chronically are at an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and hypertension.
- Better weight management and eating habits
Without all the drugs and alcohol in your body, you’ll likely get sick less often because your immune system will function well. Your diet will improve, and you’ll have fewer junk food cravings.
Being physically healthy is one of the best parts of the human experience in general. Sober living is part of living life to the fullest. Start your journey. Take these goals and make them what you want to be. Find a part of yourself that wants this, and make it happen. You can do it. Just take the first step.
4 Emotional Benefits
Beyond physical benefits, emotional benefits are also plenty. Alcohol can be something that turns you into someone you don’t truly recognize – and over time that person can become the dominant personality. People often report not liking themselves while they’re sober – but that doesn’t have to be the case for you. Take a quick look at some of the emotional benefits that come from quitting alcohol and see how well you can empathize with a few of them.
- Increased confidence
People always say “Alcohol gives you courage!” but in reality – it steals it from you. You need more and more until you’re left with nothing. Think about how much more confident you could be if you were yourself 100% of the time. Of course, learning to live with yourself would be a journey in itself, however a worthy one in the end. Think about how you would no longer have to worry about what you said or did the night before. By staying sober, you are respecting your body.
- Emotional stability
Alcohol is known to make people emotionally unstable. This doesn’t end once the person sobers up the morning after, the true effects of the emotional instability are felt for days after – one needs to try to get actually sober in order to return to the emotional norm that they were born with. Drugs and alcohol can change your brain chemistry in a way that leaves it slightly malfunctioning for months after quitting. While this might seem daunting, it’s a necessary hurtle that you can overcome. The best time to start was yesterday, the second best time is now. Make it happen. By no longer masking your mood disorders with alcohol, you are free to address them in a more productive way.
- Better overall well-being
A positive outlook on life has some serious health benefits. This might seem ridiculous, but positivity in one’s own life is a serious factor in their physical health too. A sense of purpose and wellbeing in one’s own life is necessary for a good life, and alcohol interferes with that natural process. Research shows that heavy drinking interferes with the neurotransmitters that are responsible for our mental health and has even been found to lower the levels of serotonin in our brain that help regulate our mood. Because of these lowered limits, it can take a while for our brains to return to normal. Unfortunately, this can mean many months with signs of depression. Fortunately, this doesn’t last forever, and the seemingly never ending pain that you feel will indeed end.
- Improved relationships
Addiction can gradually erode trust, honesty, open communication, patience, and commitment. Addiction interferes with every part of your life whether you realize it or not. It infects your life in ways that you would never have thought before. The ways that alcohol can break relationships are not the same for each person, however. They definitely change from person to person. Through sobriety, you can rebuild those factors. As with many of the other points, this won’t be a process that happens overnight unless in extreme circumstances. The path that you take to rebuild your life will not be easy, but it will, without a doubt, be worth it. Take the time to rebuild your life. Rebuild yourself first, and then take the time to find the relationships that you have missed out on. Healthy relationships are part of what makes life bearable in the first place. Creating/keeping good friendships is what living a sober life can give you.
The Sober Life
All these benefits will lead you to be more motivated and productive in life. Living a sober life is one that can be met with serious challenges, but those challenges will be, without a doubt, worth your time. Sober living is actually living life to the fullest. Don’t kill yourself slowly with happiness stolen from the next day. Make your life matter by telling yourself the truth – you do matter, you can matter – and you can be better.
Taking the first step is always the hardest. Staying the course can be just as hard at times. Remember that the benefits of a sober lifestyle far outweigh the negatives, but the benefits are not seen as quickly as some other effects. Make sure you’re taking the time to let the effects of the sober life you’ve chosen kick in before throwing in the towel. It’s worth it.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, reach out to us at EcoSoberHouse.com right away and get the help you need.