Starting on the road to sobriety is an exciting time. Dreams and hopes tend to come easily, as all of the possibilities for a future without drugs and alcohol appear bright. As your journey progresses, it is important not to lose sight of those initial hopes. The following is a list of some of the positive features of life which lie ahead of you.
Improved Physical Health
The cornerstone of any happy life is physical health. The effects of addiction on the body are numerous, and none are good. Depending on the substance involved, addicts can suffer from physical ailments ranging from vitamin deficiency to organ failure.
As soon as you cease using a harmful substance, the body works on repairing itself. Cells are regenerated, circulation processes improve, and organs return to their natural functioning state. The negative effect of dehydration on the delivery system for water and nutrients is reversed. The poor eating habits influenced by the substance can be replaced with regular meals and focusing on consuming the fuel your body needs for natural energy production.
Improved Mental Health
For many, becoming addicted to a substance begins with the desire to escape unpleasant thoughts and emotions. Over time, those unresolved issues can become deeply buried in the psyche. Continuing to use the substance prevents a person from ever really healing from those negative experiences.
Not only do those underlying problems remain, but continuing in an addiction means more problems are being piled on. The fact that you are now on a sobriety journey means that you have already eliminated one of these sources of poor mental health. Now that you are free from the altering and dulling effects of substances, you can see and address the psychological issues which have previously been ignored.
For many, effective approaches toward dealing with mental health difficulties include the support of trained mental health staff. Your willingness, combined with their expertise, can result in your finding genuine relief from the issues that have previously prevented you from becoming your best self. Work with your support team to develop healthier, sustainable coping methods.
Self-esteem is a concept that became the focus in the mid-20th century and became a popularized notion by the 1990s. The underlying concept is that we do better in life when we feel good about ourselves. Feeling good about ourselves can be assisted by the outside encouragement of others, but its true power comes from the inside.
A wise saying posits that “the best predictor of future success is past success.” What this admonition is referring to is the structure of forming good self-esteem. We are emboldened to attempt even larger goals when we achieve small goals. As we continue to succeed, we develop a can-do attitude toward life.
The fact that you are currently in recovery is already a step in the accomplishment direction. As your recovery proceeds, you will find even more confidence available to apply toward taking on new challenges. Obstacles and achievements which appeared impossible while in the depths of your addiction will begin to emerge as surmountable tasks, and you will develop the contentedness which comes from being able to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
A remarkable bonus to feeling good about ourselves is that it often improves our relationships with others. Not only will you reap the benefits of friends and family members learning to trust that you are going to be consistent in your sober character, but your character will also be something that is appealing to them. Self-confidence is one of the most attractive features one can possess.
In addition to the natural draw of exhibiting confidence, your mind and emotions will also be free to explore better ways of interacting with loved ones. For an addict, thoughts tend to be largely self-centered, and emotions tend to be touchy and volatile. Most energy is spent seeking, engaging in, or recovering from, the substance. There is very little energy left to devote toward learning to care properly for those around you.
Good relationship dynamics require a combination of knowledge, art, and skill. As a former addict, chances are good that you are well aware of how relationships go bad. Having a glimpse into what makes for damaged relationships puts you in a very good position to learn how to accomplish the opposite. You can use your negative experiences with others to inform your steps toward making your relationships phenomenal.
Many people in addiction fail to take stock of just how much money is wasted on a substance. The average alcoholic can spend thousands of dollars a year on booze, and a person addicted to cigarettes can count on spending even more. For an addict of street or prescription drugs, there is no limit to the amount of money going toward scoring that next high.
Once you enter recovery, you immediately gain that money back into your budget. Deciding to abstain from drugs and alcohol can make you thousands of dollars richer. The financial benefits don’t stop there, either. Once you are living a life of sobriety, you have the time and mental capacity to devote to generating even more income.
With the clarity of mind you gain from sobriety, engage your thoughts toward designing a financial future that appeals to you. For some, this may mean having just enough to pay the bills and having an occasional dinner out. For others, there may be dreams of large houses or fancy cars. Create a budget that includes the expenses and finances you currently have, and then design a plan to move it toward the numbers you want to see. The extra energy you gain from sustained sobriety can be applied toward making that plan a reality.
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