If you are a long-time drinker or drug user, you may be in that twilight stage of indecision between getting clean and continuing on the path you’re on. Using isn’t as fun as it used to be—it’s starting to catch up with you—but you dread what life would be like without it. Some of the best times you’ve ever known have been while using, and walking away from that might also mean walking away from friends. On top of that, using has been your way of dealing with things that you don’t know how else to deal with. It just seems like being sober would suck.
Below are five of the main reasons that being sober definitely does not suck. For more proof, check out this page for an recovering addict’s account of how being sober is better.
Being Sober Doesn’t Suck Because You are Healthier
The larger health problems associated with alcohol or drug use are obvious, such as when your morning routine begins with trying to vomit up the dinner that you didn’t have because you drank instead. If you’ve been living the drinking or drugging lifestyle for a while, however, you may not notice the subtler ways that it is effecting both your body and you mind. When you’re sober, you’ll be more attractive; your hair, skin, and teeth will look better. You’ll also feel better, sleep better, and have more energy. On top of that, you’ll think better; your mind will be sharper and your memory will improve.
Being Sober Doesn’t Suck Because Your Relationships are Closer
You may think that you have good relationships with your drinking buddies, but the truth is that such relationships tend to be very shallow. When you get sober, you won’t spend every moment of every day thinking about your drug of choice; you’ll have the time and mental clarity to really connect with the people you care about. You and your spouse may become more intimate, or you might start dating again. You might get a chance to really get to know your kids or reconnect with your parents. You might catch up with old friends or make some new ones.
Being Sober Doesn’t Suck Because You are Freer
When you are living the drug and alcohol lifestyle, you may feel free. It is true that, if you get sober, you might have to get a job, pay bills, and take care of your kids. However, true freedom is a product of responsibility. For one thing, you’ll be financially independent, which means you’ll be free from constantly worrying about making rent or buying food. Also, since you earned that money, no one will be able to tell you what to do with it. Beyond that, your time will be freed up; instead of always using or trying to obtain drugs, you’ll be able to find things that you truly enjoy and that have meaning.
Being Sober Doesn’t Suck Because You Are Able to Follow Your Passions
Active addiction is very life-narrowing. You may not notice, but, when you’re in it, your drug of choice absorbs much, if not all, of your thoughts, time, energy, and money, leaving little room for anything else. It is also a very shallow existence, because your sole “purpose” in life is to get the next fix.
Getting sober means that you’ll be able to answer the question “why am I here?” You’ll have the time, energy and freedom to find the things that give you joy—not the artificial “high” of drugs, but real joy—and that give you a true sense of purpose.
Being Sober Doesn’t Suck Because You Actually Have More Fun
In case you haven’t noticed by now, life is actually more fun when you’re sober. When you’re in active addiction, what counts as “fun” is a cheap imitation of what your life really could be—rich, joy-filled, and free.
Conclusion: Addiction Sucks
Don’t expect these changes to happen overnight, because they won’t. Don’t expect to feel grateful immediately, because you won’t. In fact, it may take up to two years for the way you feel to start to change. It’s not that life magically gets better after a certain amount of time being sober, it’s that your perceptions start to shift.
One of the effects of addiction is that it warps our perspective; we tend to focus on the fun things about using and the not-so-fun things about not using. On the other side of the tunnel, you start to notice not only what you enjoy about being sober, but also just how much life in active addiction really did suck.