Sobriety doesn’t happen overnight – though you probably already know this. It is a process – and a lifelong one, at that. While it may be a bit of a struggle at first, you will slowly move from the deepest, darkest places of struggle in your life to the discovery that a whole new life exists.
And, as you move through this new life, you will begin to see all the new gifts that your sobriety has blessed you with – and continues to bless you with. For as much as you grow, your gifts grow. Once you begin to recognize these blessings, you will begin to learn that sobriety truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
There are so many meaningful things to discover in life that we cannot possibly list them all. So, here are just a few of the gifts you may uncover along your journey into recovery.
True Fun & Happiness
Living amid your addiction does not necessarily provide you with many moments of true happiness. Sure, you could have a moment of happiness when you get your hands on your next fix. Or a moment of happiness when you see an old friend. But, its temporary. When you reach sobriety, however, you begin to experience true happiness – and you discover what it means to be happy and to have fun.
Think about it – how many life moments did you miss while you were struggling with your addiction?
Getting to be a part of things, such as laughing with friends over dinner, watching a movie and eating popcorn with your best friend, or seeing the sunrise or sunset in the quiet part of the day –are the moments that can fill you with happiness in a way that your addiction never could. In reality, it’s likely you didn’t experience many of those moments – or even care to – while under the influence.
Happiness is powerful – and it is very contagious. Once you have it, you will not want to let it go. Sadly, an addict spends so much time giving up true happiness by replacing it with their addiction. So, for those who have had time to spend enjoying this blessing in recovery, the fear of going back to the misery of their addiction may even be the key that keeps them sober.
Happiness is truly a gift you will be thankful to receive.
Health & Healing
Alcohol and other substances can wreak havoc on your body. In fact, over time, every single organ in your body can feel the effects of your addiction. There is no “safe” drug for your health. Therefore, entering sobriety is like entering a period of health shock for your body.
It takes time, but your body will slowly work to heal itself of the damage, as best as it can. In fact, according to a study that was done by a team from New Scientist in cohorts with the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London Medical School to see just what happens when a body is free from alcohol for 30 days. Here’s what they found:
- Liver fat fell from 15%-20%.
- Blood glucose levels dropped 16% (on average).
- Blood cholesterol decreased by 5%.
- Increased sleep quality.
- Improved focus on mental wellness.
- Weight decreased.
The body is incredible at healing itself! During rehab you will likely learn that incorporating a healthy fitness regime and a healthy diet into your life will aid your body in the healing process. To push your body along in the healthy process, consider starting a fitness routine and begin enjoying a whole foods diet.
New Friends & Fellowship
Sobriety brings new people into your life. After all, you will discover that it may be nearly impossible to go back to the way life was before your sobriety, as those friends may make living a successfully sober life quite a bit more challenging.
Having friends that are on the same healing path that you are on allows you to build a support system with those who truly understand your struggles and can hold you accountable. In a system of reciprocity, you can be there in the same way for them, too.
Embrace these new friendships as you advance into your future.
New Hobbies & Discoveries
Many people in recovery will tell you that they never realized just how much time they wasted, either drunk or recovering from a binge, high, or searching for the next fix. Meanwhile, there was a world going on around them that they had forgotten about!
Your sobriety will bring you the gift of new hobbies. Why? Because you will discover you have a ton of extra time that you never even knew existed! Make the most of it by discovering things that you love or by trying the things you’ve always wanted to try. For example, traveling, volunteering, painting, photography, writing, teaching, windsurfing, etc.
There is no end to the things that you can do. Use your sobriety to live your life to the fullest.
Sobriety’s Gift of Hope & Empowerment
The gift of hope is, perhaps, the biggest gift of all. Hope is expecting things to come. Good things. And, you can only expect good things to come when you are in a good place – like sobriety. Negative situations generally breed a negative outlook on life and everything associated with it. That is why you likely felt hopeless when you were struggling with your addiction.
With sobriety comes empowerment. You have overcome your addiction and have been able to experience those positive things are possible, and you are capable of bringing these positive things into your life. Your confidence mixed with your sobriety gives you hope. And, with hope – anything is possible.
No matter where you are on your journey through sobriety, continue to view it as a gift that brings so many other gifts into your life. Use your sobriety to embrace life, experience new things, discover new passions and hold on to hope.