It’s no secret that being sober has many benefits over living in active addiction. They include stable neurology, increased energy, ease of falling and staying asleep, improved skin, and, of course, saving both time and money. There are also many lesser-known and unexpected benefits of being sober that are often forgotten or go unrecognized.
If you’re ready to experience the benefits of sobriety, alcohol addiction treatment can make a difference. Find a BrightView location near you today to get started.
The Biggest Benefits of Being Sober
(Re)discovering Your Personality
Drinking alcohol can repress and cloud personality traits that help make you who you are. Individuals who enter long-term sobriety after living with a substance use disorder often discover, or rediscover, who they are and their own personality traits. Having the ability to reset, to re-calibrate, and discover who you truly are is a great gift. Many folks find that they are shyer in sobriety than when they were drinking.
Often, addiction begins in adolescence. During this time, the brain is growing and developing at a rapid pace. Alcohol can interfere with this process, leading to long-term changes in the brain. When people become sober, they may find that their personality has changed as well. This may mean that there is a large element of initial personal discovery that needs to take place. Being comfortable with who you are in your own skin is a key to happiness and contentment.
Freedom from Alcohol-Related Anxiety
For those living in active addiction, the reality is that many days begin with the anxiety and fear of wondering what was said and done the night before. No alcohol means no hangovers, which is an obvious benefit, but it also means less emotional trauma from regret and less stress about blackouts or forgotten segments of time. Reliability is a common result of moving from alcohol addiction to sobriety. When alcohol is a driving factor in decision-making, the results are often unpredictable and sometimes disastrous.
One of the biggest benefits of living in sobriety is that you’ll be able to improve relationships with friends and family members. In addition, it will be easier to develop and maintain new relationships. This is because you’ll no longer have to worry about the negative impact that alcohol can have on your social life.
Distancing yourself from negative influences is crucial in achieving sobriety. If there are friends that you only see when there is alcohol around, it’s time for a new social life. By replacing time you would have spent with them with quality time spent with your friends or family, the bonds with positive people will strengthen. This will make staying in long-term recovery even easier, and you’ll feel much better emotionally, mentally, and physically. Rebuilding broken trust may take time, but now you’ll have the time to make it happen.
Realizing the Power of Time
Sobriety can mean having the time to do things you love and enjoy. However, acclimating to a life of sobriety doesn’t happen instantly. It can take time for triggers to become less sensitive, for alcohol to stop taking over your mindset, and for mental discipline to strengthen. Although it may feel impossible at first, there is a level of distance that time can create. Space from the past can provide a different perspective and allow for clarity that addiction may have previously clouded.
Living with a substance use disorder can make it difficult to tap into joy outside of that substance. Hobbies, pastimes, and interests look different for everyone. Instead of going to the bar with drinking buddies, maybe the after-work activity of choice becomes something like:
- Working out
- Rock climbing
- Playing board games
- Checking out a new restaurant
- Attending a meetup group
Whatever fuels your passion or encourages your creativity will work. Look for hobbies that you enjoy, even if that means adding a bit of adrenaline through bicycle racing, rock climbing, or something else. Breaking the vicious cycle of addiction should allow you to get past the “groundhog day” feeling of constant repetition.
You’ll Discover You Aren’t Alone
You aren’t the first person to overcome alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder. A major benefit of staying sober is seeing all of the role models out there in the public eye. Johnny Cash was a great example of someone in long-term sobriety from alcohol. Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is another. There are hundreds of public figures and tens of thousands of private ones that you can look to for encouragement. Please know that you are in great company, surrounded by many others who want you to experience all of the benefits of sobriety.
Find Help for Addiction at BrightView
If you’re ready to break free from addiction, it’s never too late to get help. We offer evidence-based treatment for alcohol and drug addiction at our centers around the country. Contact us today at 888.501.9865 or find a location near you to get started on your journey and discover all of the benefits of being sober.
This article is based on content written originally by Dr. Bunmi Aboaba. Her original article featured in the Huffington Post can be read here: Completely Unexpected Benefits of Being Sober