Getting sober is not easy, but the effort you put into it pays off — such as gaining all the benefits of being sober. Your mind clears, and you can focus on things other than alcohol or drugs. You can accomplish tasks and fulfill responsibilities because your days are not filled with seeking and using substances.
Whether this is the first time you’ve gotten sober or the tenth time, be proud of yourself. Being sober is a huge accomplishment. It has many benefits you have earned and deserve, like the ones listed below.
Make Better Decisions
Before getting sober, your decisions were made with an intoxicated brain. The only thing it truly cared about was consuming more substances. You can make rational decisions based on sound judgment rather than compulsions and cravings.
Heal the Whole Body
Alcohol and drugs like opioids and stimulants damage the brain and the body. Overuse of substances affects the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, and more. When you stop misusing substances, your body repairs the areas affected. Mental and physical health are directly connected. If one is unhealthy, the other will also be.
Socialize with Friends and Family
Your friends and family want to spend time with you and build happy memories. Now that you have gained the benefits of being sober, you can invest your time in building relationships with people who love you. You can attend holiday activities or get-togethers without being focused on alcohol or substance misuse. You can engage fully in conversations. You can have fun again.
Sleep for Restoration
Every person needs proper sleep each night. A lot happens when you are sleeping. Your brain recognizes the parts of your body that need healing and sends signals to that area to signal repairs. When you are asleep, your brain is just as active as when you are awake, proving the brain is active and busy restoring your health.
For a long time, alcohol or other substances have prevented the brain from doing its job. Now that you are experiencing the benefits of being sober expect positive changes in energy, memory, mood, and physical health associated with sleep.
Chase Your Dreams
Before you started using alcohol or drugs, you had dreams for your life. A bucket list was put on hold. Now you can get back to checking things off the list again. Traveling, higher education, owning a business, falling in love, and many other goals are doable. Being sober allows you to focus on the future rather than getting through the day trying to survive or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
You can chase your dreams and enjoy the rewards when you reach them.
Receive Compliments About Your Appearance
“You look great.” It is a statement you will often hear after getting sober. Your appearance and hygiene were not a significant concern in the height of your alcohol or substance use disorder. You were likely underweight, and your clothing was draping your body since you couldn’t afford new. A lack of nourishment makes your skin unhealthy, and you may have dealt with rashes, marks, or itching.
Now that you are reaping the benefits of being sober, your skin is healthy, you are eating better, and your hygiene is back to normal. And it shows.
Lower Health Risks
There are no happy, healthy endings for people who continue to misuse drugs or alcohol. The risks to your mind and body only get worse. Getting sober, however, lowers your risk for cancers, hepatitis, cirrhosis, heart disease, stroke, and mental health disorders.
Staying sober is crucial if you have health consequences related to substance use. You can participate in various treatments available if you are regularly intoxicated.
Spend, Save, and Give
Money is not something you are used to having. Maintaining a substance use disorder can cost hundreds of dollars a day. Because you couldn’t work, you decided how to get money to support your addiction which you never would do now that you are sober.
Being sober gives you the chance to work and earn money with pride. The problem is not knowing what to do with the money you earn. According to a top financial leader, do three things: spend, save, and give. These behaviors show responsibility and generosity, which can be extremely rewarding.
Regain Control of Your Life
If you are misusing alcohol or drugs, the substances control your life. You get very little accomplished from when you wake up until you fall asleep unless drug or alcohol-related. The substances control your mind and body with obsessive thoughts, cravings, and painful withdrawal symptoms.
When you are sober, you take back the power over your life’s physical, psychological, and social components.
Make New Friends
While getting sober, you probably met people in treatment and support groups who are also in recovery. Some may be recovered for years, some for days. Both groups can benefit from your friendship and vice versa.
You will inevitably run into someone you used to misuse alcohol and drugs with at some point in your recovery, especially in early recovery. They may even search for you to see if you are still sober. Misery loves company, and this is true for substance-using friends too. Misusing alcohol or drugs is better when done together rather than alone.
It may be hard to reject temptation without sober friends and your participation in sober activities. Sober friends give you an excuse to leave an uncomfortable situation. You must meet your new friend. They support you and boost your confidence that you can avoid a relapse.
Practice Sober Skills
Completing recovery treatment means you learned new skills to prevent relapse. Those skills need to be practiced and fine-tuned. If you need help implementing your skills, you can continue working with an individual therapist and attend support groups. Creating a support system is the easy part. It’s calling on your support for help that people find challenging.
The more you practice, though, the easier it will get. Call us today if you need help with these skills or want to learn even more. We are eager to help you.
- Cohut M. Giving up alcohol for just 1 month has lasting benefits. Published January 3, 2019. Accessed October 5, 2022. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324079
- Pettersen H, Landheim A, Skeie I, et al. How Social Relationships Influence Substance Use Disorder Recovery: A Collaborative Narrative Study. Subst Abuse. 2019;13:1178221819833379. doi:10.1177/1178221819833379
Last medically reviewed October 5, 2022