TW: Alcohol, substance abuse

AD – This is a pre written post | Grappling with the effects of substance abuse can place individuals in a dark path. When someone is dealing with alcohol or drug use disorder, their physical and mental health worsens, leaving long-lasting or permanent consequences that can affect their quality of life. Their destructive habits can also cause loved ones to cut them off from their lives, damaging relationships they have fostered over the years.

Photo by Austin Kehmeier on Unsplash

Many of those who have to endure substance use disorders feel ashamed for their actions. They also perceive that the entire world is against them and that they’re all alone in dealing with the ramifications of their mistakes. However, all is not lost because they still have time to turn things around when they get help today.

Treatment clinics and rehabilitation centers provide recovering individuals with a safe place where they can pick up the pieces and start over. They also offer a variety of programs that aid in improving their perceptions on life. There’s no denying that getting help is advantageous to achieving a life of sobriety. Nevertheless, there are people who are skeptical about getting treatment. The reasons behind their skepticisms can come from several factors like fear, doubt, and misinformation. The longer they dwell on them, the harder it is for them to improve.

That being said, enrolling in substance abuse programs has many benefits, especially once a patient has completed them. If you or someone you know is having difficulty progressing through treatment, it might be helpful to be reminded of the reasons why getting sober is the best choice a recovering individual will ever make. Here are 5 of them.

Your Overall Health Will Improve

Substance abuse places a significant toll on your body, so it’s common for many alcoholics and drug users to experience the following side effects:

  • Memory loss
  • Weakened immune system
  • Malnutrition
  • Higher risk of seizures and stroke
  • Brain damage

Because of this, drug and alcohol avoidance plays a key role in your road to sobriety. When these substances are removed from your system and environment, you’re giving your body a chance to repair itself. Throughout your treatment, you’ll gain a newfound energy, which you can use to fuel your healthy lifestyle.

Your skin, eyes, and hair will also look better since you’ll be regaining the nutrients you’ve lost during your addiction. Once you’ve fully recovered, you’ll feel healthier and more positive, which are signs of improved overall health.

You’ll Gain the Chance to Restore Meaningful Relationships

Your destructive habits may have destroyed your relationship with your friends and family, so one of the best things you can do once you become sober is restoring these connections. Now that your thoughts and actions aren’t influenced by drugs or alcohol, your loved ones can see that you’ve completely changed for the better.

However, mending friends and family ties isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s important to have the initiative to immediately seek them out and ask for forgiveness. You also need to be sincere and honest with your words to convince them (and yourself) that you’re committed to living a life of sobriety.

Get Better Sleep

Drugs and alcohol can rob you of so many things, and one of them is a good night’s sleep. Substance abuse can interfere in your ability to easily fall asleep, maintain sleep, and stick to a sleep schedule. Without proper sleep, you’ll feel more lethargic, and it’ll be almost impossible for your body to recharge. That’s why one of the things you can look forward to once you’re sober is getting better quality of sleep overall. When you sleep soundly, you’ll also have more pleasant dreams in addition to feeling well-rested when you awake.

Grab Missed Opportunities

Being a slave to your addiction prevents you from achieving your life goals. Instead of concentrating on securing your finances, improving on your job, or continuing your education, you’ll have spent most of your time and money on drugs or alcohol. One of the greatest things about getting and staying sober is that you’re given the chance to grab the opportunities you’ve missed. Thanks to this, as well as the fact that you’re more appreciative of your new lease on life, you’ll strive to do better this time around.

Feel Genuinely Happy

Some drugs and alcohol are known to bring you to a state of happiness, which is why many of those who have substance use disorders give in to their addictions. However, after continuous use, the feeling of bliss diminishes, so it will take higher or heavier doses of the substance for one to get better effects.

Nothing good ever comes out of destroying your body just to feel good. In fact, studies show that substance abuse raises your anxiety levels and increases the risk of depression. Living a life of sobriety liberates you from being dependent on drugs and alcohol. Because of this, you can explore other things that will make you genuinely happy and in healthier ways. Exercising, meditating, traveling, and working on your hobbies, are just a few examples of how you can experience real joy, as well as boost your self-esteem.

Recovering from substance abuse isn’t easy. Even if you sought out professional help, the feelings of fear and doubt can prevent you from achieving sobriety. However, you should never lose hope. Once you take that first step in your journey back to sobriety, it only means that you’re taking back control of your life, giving you the opportunity to take care of your true self.

7 Comments

  1. Great post and important subject! I had a short 2-week period in my early twenties where I drank a bottle of red every single evening. I was going through a rough patch but thankfully I realized quickly that this is not the way to go. I made a pact with myself that I was allowed to get a Friday bottle, but nothing more. And I’ve kept that pact now for almost 10 years. We’ve got alcoholism in the family, and it really is super difficult for people to admit it when they have a problem. The shame is massive. But once admitted, the cure process can start 🙂

    Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog

  2. I don’t drink alcohol and seldom drink if I do have a glass. My reason is because I grew up with alcoholic parents, and have seen the damage that alcohol has instilled upon them. I told myself that I do not want to end up like that as an adult. Personally, I have no desire to drink. Pink sparkling wine is a very rare, occasional treat. I like fruit-flavored beverages and cold sparkling pink wine is really refreshing on a summer’s night.

  3. As someone who is 121 days into recovering from drinking every day for years I’ve yet to read a post like this that I can relate to. A lot are good facts and ways through addiction that help, though always best when written from the heart and experience. The post I read 121 days ago has stuck with me and hopefully this one will stick with someone else and help them. Thanks for talking about this.

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