By Jonathon Beazley, Founder, Bodhi Addiction Center
Before getting clean and sober, there was no way someone could convince you that living a sober lifestyle would be amazing. Just the thought of winding through the days without your life partner, the alcohol, was unthinkable. How would you even handle the daily grind, the stress, the frustrations of life?
The saying goes that hindsight is 20/20. From the perspective of sobriety we can clearly see how distorted our thoughts were while saddled with alcoholism. We can see with crisp clarity how physically sick and depleted we were. In sum, with the sharp focus that was gifted to us in recovery, we can see our former existence for what it was—pretty pathetic.
Here we summarize the things we will definitely not miss about the drinking days, and will highlight the many wonderful things we discover in sobriety.
8 Things You Will Not Miss About Drinking
So now with some sobriety under our belts, it is quite enlightening to take notice of all the things we put up with while in the grip of our alcohol addiction. We bid them farewell, and will absolutely not miss any of them:
- Feeling sick. Day in and day out, living life as an alcoholic meant feeling pretty awful. Waking up sick with tremors is no way to live. Alcoholism robs you of essential nutrients, causing vitamin deficiencies. And the poor dietary choices only adds to the feeling of being generally unhealthy.
- Being depressed and anxious. Mental health issues seem to co-occur often with alcohol use disorders. The more you drink to numb the symptoms of depression or anxiety, the worse the symptoms get.
- Feeling hopeless. When alcoholism begins to take its toll you find yourself at a very low point psychologically. Many of us lose everything we hold dear because of the disease, and end up feeling pretty hopeless.
- Feeling bad about yourself. As the disease progresses you begin to see yourself as pretty worthless. You no longer contribute to work or home life like you used to, or like you want to, because the alcoholism dominates.
- Looking bad. When you develop a serious drinking problem you will notice the physical changes, such as the bloated face, the distended gut, the glassy, red eyes. Not a good look.
- Letting down your loved ones. One of the worst things about alcoholism is letting down your family and friends, over and over. People that had always held a high opinion of you begin to be more and more disgusted and frustrated by your actions.
- Wasting money. It is hard to calculate just how much money you waste on alcohol addiction. Not only in the liquor itself, but the money spent on paying fines or legal fees or repair bills for damages you have caused. It adds up!
- Being dishonest. The disease of addiction tends to twist you into someone you are not. Loved ones learn to not trust you or take you at your word anymore because of the many times you deceived them.
Things to Enjoy in Sobriety
It might take a bit to get used to sobriety, but living sober offers a bevy of benefits each and every day. It means waking up each morning without having to face the dumb things we did the night before, or cringe before the mirror at our bloated face. It means facing each day with a renewed sense of wellbeing and purpose that eclipses anything you could have imagined while still tethered to that bottle.
Consider the things you can truly enjoy in your new sober lifestyle:
New hope. While stuck in addiction you can lose yourself—to actually lose sight of who you are as a person. All those goals and dreams you once looked forward to just vanished, one after the other, as alcoholism took its toll. In recovery, as you become healthy and stable, you slowly recover that person you once were, finding new purpose and setting new goals. With renewed hope for a bright future, your sober lifestyle helps set the stage for achieving those goals and living a fulfilling life.
Renewed health. It is no secret that addiction is debilitating. Most alcoholics enter rehab in a state of poor health, often with nutritional deficiencies. Living life in sobriety means making your health a priority again. Setting new fitness goals and overhauling your diet leads to improved overall wellness. This pays dividends in all aspects of life, including your mood, quality of sleep, and physical health.
Healthy friendships. Once you have turned away from dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships, you have an opportunity to form new friendships. By being selective, you’ll seek friendships with people who are equally committed to sobriety, and maintain and nurture relationships with family and friends who are supportive of your sobriety.
Having fun again. It is pretty common for us to dread a sober lifestyle at first, assuming we will be bored stiff. It is encouraging to realize how very wrong that assumption was! In sobriety, we are truly present, able to witness with a clear head all the beauty that exists around us. A sense of joy and happiness begins to creep back in, and before you know it you realize you are actually having fun again.
Giving back. Once the haze has lifted and you have rebuilt your mind, body, and spirit, the desire to bring joy to others becomes impossible to ignore. Whether sponsoring or volunteering through A.A., helping out at the local food pantry, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, or bringing supplies to the local homeless community, the joy of giving back is one of the best benefits of living a life in sobriety.
About the Author
Jonathan Beazley, Owner of Bodhi Addiction Treatment and Wellness, in spite of a supportive family and a happy childhood, started at age 15 to walk down the unhealthy path of addiction and to turn his life upside down. He carved out a new path for himself in sobriety, and later began his career in the field of rehabilitation. He has since helped and advised well over 30,000 individuals and families in finding their right path. Jonathan is a Registered Addiction Specialist Level 2 and a Certified Addiction Specialist. His vision is to help heal addicts through health and wellness. He carries out his life’s purpose in beautiful Capitola, CA.