6 Benefits of a Recovery Lifestyle

6 Benefits of a Recovery Lifestyle

A recovery lifestyle will give you the opportunity to build stronger relationships

Often individuals focus on the negative aspects of living a sober or recovery lifestyle. Because of choosing to be sober, there are no more all night binges. Due to the decision to walk into recovery, you will never have your own version of The Hangover to fondly half-remember. You may very well lose all your party friends when you set out to focus on different parts of life instead of the addictive ones, but this view could be considered short-sighted in a sense because there are a variety of benefits that, in the long haul, actually outweigh what it supposedly costs. Taking the time to consider these positive outcomes will allow you to have a better sense of what you are choosing to step into, or step away from, when you choose a recovery lifestyle.

  • Stronger relationships – This may seem counterintuitive, but a recovery lifestyle will give you the opportunity to build stronger relationships. While some of your fellow partiers may fall by the wayside or even ridicule you for choosing to make a change in your life, the end result will be positive in two very specific ways. First, you will be forced to find relationships that have more substance than a shared affinity for a certain drug. This will by default lead to deeper friendships and more satisfaction from those relationships. Second, you will learn how to grow beyond the lies, unintentional broken promises and occasional flakiness that was a result of your addictive behavior. As this happens, trust will begin to blossom in your relationships, and strength will be forged as a result.
  • Brighter future – This is not a pie-in-the-sky proclamation that a recovery lifestyle is easier or a faulty promise that tough times will not continue to be unwelcome guests in your life if you step away from the drugs or alcohol. On the contrary, this is a statement that is largely based on fact. Without the drug use, you will be able to have more focus in your career, which will potentially open doors to new opportunities. You will remember the things you say you will do, thus increasing the chances you actually do them. When you cut out the partying, if that is a symptom of your addiction, you will have time to build other events and priorities into your life. Your future will have fewer limits.
  • Better self-image – Most individuals struggling with an addiction do not feel great about themselves. This is due to a combination of factors—the ups and downs of withdrawals and highs, the knowledge of letting others down and believing you might be built for more. By making the choice and beginning to successfully navigate the path of recovery, you will begin to believe in yourself for the simple reason that you are making progress.
  • More self-control – This benefit is a tricky one. Many people mistakenly believe that addiction is nothing more than a lack of self-control, but this is simply not true. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Although the initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, the brain changes that occur over time challenge an addicted person’s self-control and hamper his or her ability to resist intense impulses to take drugs.” So while it is true that poor self-control is not the root cause of addiction, learning a recovery lifestyle does increase your self-control. You are choosing to make decisions that result in better health for you even when it is difficult to do so. That is the very definition of self-control.
  • Resilience – The sober life requires a toughness that many don’t start the path with and must therefore develop along the way. This resilience or perseverance will serve you well in many aspects of life, not just your recovery. Learning how to metaphorically take a hit and keep moving forward is a powerful tool.
  • Ability to give back – When you begin to experience some success in your recovery, you will be able to share those victories with others. This will include those who are still in addiction, those who are on the same path as you and even those struggling with other challenges in life. Your success will be an inspiration to others.

You Might Not Be Able to Get Sober on Your Own

Maybe you have tried to quit on your own, and you haven’t been successful. You might already be aware of these benefits, and while they seem appealing to you on some level, nothing has clicked on a deep enough level for you to begin to live a sober lifestyle.

The odds are that this isn’t due to a lack of desire or willpower on your part. What many people don’t understand is that addiction is a chronic condition that literally changes the way your brain works by influencing the activity of neurotransmitters. In other words, your brain is different because of your addiction, and you may need help to start the path to recovery.

With the right support system, anyone can build a sober life. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help, and getting to that point is no reason to quit trying. The reality is that most individuals need help to start living a sober life.

If you find yourself at the end of your ability to battle your addiction in your own strength, there is support available. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admissions counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about your mental health condition. They can help you find your way.


 

[1] http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction, “DrugFacts: Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction,” accessed December 18, 2015