Many people unfortunately turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with life stresses, whether it’s a difficult work situation, problems in their marriage, problems with parents, problems at school, financial challenges, or a significant loss such as the loss of a family member, divorce, job, or health of self or a loved one.
At first, the drugs or alcohol is a seemingly effective way to numb the pains of life. You might even be under the illusion that you are having fun or happy. But then you might find yourself more and more dependent on drugs or alcohol just to get through the day no matter what is going on.
And just like that, you have a full-blown addiction. Your life, and the original problems or losses that drove you to use in the first place, start to get worse and more and more out of control.
This is the typical course of addiction, and when life becomes unmanageable to such a degree that you can no longer take it, you start considering how you might be able to stop using or drinking.
But you’re afraid that you won’t be able to be happy without the help of the drugs or alcohol or won’t be able to cope. Or you may have tried recovery and relapsed, losing hope that you can ever have a better life.
The truth is that addicts in recovery report are becoming happier and their lives keep improving, sometimes in ways that are more than they ever had before they even started using!
And the other truth they discover? Everyone can recover from addiction if they are willing to seek help and genuinely commit to their recovery program and keep trying, whether they relapse once, twice, or multiple times.
You can have happiness and a better life clean and sober too! It indeed is possible for everyone!
#1 – You’ll Have A Lot More Time:
All the excuses and lies you tell your family, friends, coworkers, boss, your doctors, and even yourself to cover up or justify using or drinking can become more and more challenging to manage the deeper you get into an addiction.
Where you’ve been, why you are late or didn’t show at all, why you are ill, why you look like crap, where the money went – the list goes on, not to mention the time you spend obsessing about how and where you are going to get the next hit, the next bottle of pills, or your next drink.
And if you are struggling with addiction, you know what we’re talking about. It takes so much time and energy to hide your addiction. Once you stop using or drinking, all of that stops too, and you’ll have so much more time to spend on things you enjoy!
#2 – You’ll Have More Money:
Addiction is expensive! Sure, there’s the apparent cost of the actual drugs, pills, or alcohol, which, if you are buying stuff off the street, can cost you a pretty penny, and bar tabs can be expensive.
But there are more “hidden” costs as well. Late and over-the-limit fees on credit cards, past due rent, and other bills can build up quickly, and forgetting or running out of money to pay bills can be a common side effect of addiction.
Gas, mileage, and wear-and-tear on your vehicle as well as the increased cost of insurance if you crash it due to driving intoxicated or high, tickets, legal fees, car repairs, cabs, and other transportation costs can skyrocket due to addictive behaviors.
Lost time at work or complete loss of employment is extremely costly. Medical bills due to additional health problems that can arise from addiction are another substantial expense.
Legal fees resulting from DUIs, incarceration, divorce, injuries to others, and other issues that arise from addictive behavior can be financially devastating.
The good news is that once you are committed to recovery, your behaviors change, and your finances will follow. Eventually, you will have more than enough money to cover your bills and still have left over to take vacations, buy a new car, a home, and do the fun things you enjoy!
#3 – Your Health Will Improve:
There isn’t an active addict around that doesn’t eventually look and feel like crap most of the time. Addiction can take its toll on your physical and mental health.
Active addicts often look old and haggard, no matter what their age. They also start to have a host of physical symptoms as well, and the hangovers and detox are no picnic either.
Mentally, they are often in a fog or thoroughly checked out, even blacked out. While there is some physical damage in extreme conditions that may not be reversible once you stop using or drinking, you will start to look and feel better over time.
#4 – Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem:
All the guilt, shame, and consequences resulting from active addiction can quickly erode any real confidence or self-esteem you may have had before using or drinking.
It is difficult to be confident when you don’t know if you can deliver due to unreliability or because you know you’ve let yourself go physically. It is also challenging to feel good about yourself when you are lying, manipulating, obsessing, engaging in illegal activities, and unable to control your behavior.
In recovery, all of this will stop, sometimes as soon as you stop using or drinking, sometimes over time as you gain more and more healing, prevent the negative behaviors, and start implementing healthy self-care.
#5 – You Gain a Community in Recovery:
Addiction can be a very isolating disease.
Many addicts are often alone so they can easily sneak in drug use or drinking without anyone knowing. They can sleep off a hangover and spending much time hiding their pills, drugs, or bottles.
Those addicts that drink alone are plagued by loneliness. In a recovery program, you will be part of a community of other people who also struggle with addiction or treat addiction and can truly understand and empathize with what you’re going through.
Eventually, you’ll make new recovery friends that can help you to feel loved, supported, and know that you never have to be alone in your addiction again!
#6 – Your Relationships Improve:
Your relationships with your spouse, children, parents, friends, coworkers, boss, and community often suffer severely due to your addictive behaviors.
You may have become separated from loved ones emotionally and sometimes physically through divorce, incarceration, or having your children taken from you.
It may seem hopeless to you now that these relationships could ever be repaired or bettered. There are so many stories from recovering addicts about relationship miracles happening in their lives every day as a result of them diligently working their recovery program.
Why? Because they are changing themselves, the one person over whom they have control. And as they become better people and abler and willing to allow acceptance, forgiveness, and real intimacy to be part of their own lives, this more often than not radiates out to the damaged relationships they want to set right.
We’re not suggesting your ex will want to reunite with you, although it has happened, if it doesn’t, you may find a new partner, one that is better than you could have ever imagined or hoped for!
#7 –Employment Stability and Opportunities:
Employment problems are a common consequence of addiction. Some addicts are purposely underemployed. They choose to work part-time, or in jobs below their skill level so that there are little expectations of them, giving them more flexibility to engage in addictive behaviors.
Others may have had a stable job but have been written up or passed over for salary increases and promotions due to their addictive behaviors getting in the way of their overall job performance.
Still, others had great jobs and lost them because of excessive drinking or using. Lastly, some have become too physically or mentally ill to be able to work at all.
Regardless of your story, it is important to realize that there are so many others struggling with addiction that have had similar experiences. Once you stop drinking or using and begin to recover from other addictive behaviors, your ability to secure and maintain appropriate employment will develop and the promotions and pay raises will follow.
#8 – Ability to Handle Life’s Ups and Downs:
One of the main reasons people become addicted to drugs or alcohol in the first place is their overall inability to handle life, or at least a significant occurrence in their life.
As mentioned previously, there are lots of life stressors that can come about; it’s just part of being alive. But some people have the tools and emotional fortitude to handle these stressors and others that don’t tend to turn to substances like drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism.
In recovery, you will learn new and useful tools to help you cope with anything that comes your way in life and be able to eventually navigate life with a reasonable amount of ease and grace!
#9 – Finding and Living Your True Purpose:
One of the greatest gifts of addiction and finding recovery is discovering and living your real purpose in life.
The age-old question, “Why am I here?” starts to become known to you as you delve deeply into your recovery journey. And having a real purpose means no longer feeling useless or worthless.
You will come to know that you not only have great value but that the world needs what you, and only you, can bring to the table! How many people do you know would love to know what their purpose in life is?
You will discover this as part of your recovery journey, whether it’s by uncovering a hidden desire or talent or helping others through recovery the way you have been helped.
The main reason behind this phenomenon is that you will get to know yourself intimately, discovering what it is you like and what makes you happy.
#10 – Overall Feelings of Happiness, Contentment, and Inner Peace:
I’m reminded of a meme I once saw of a frog trying to force a meditation while saying, “Come on inner peace!”
We laugh because there’s absolutely nothing peaceful about trying to make something happen. And that is the point of recovery programs.
By learning to accept life on life’s terms and people for who they are instead of trying to force things to be the way you think they should be, you begin to experience a sense of euphoria and peace that you may have never known before in your entire life. It is indeed a splendid experience and way to live!
One of the caveats that most plagues addicts in starting or continuing recovery is the mistaken notion that they are terminally unique.
What this means is that, sure, these benefits can be experienced by other people struggling with addiction, but it won’t work for you. We cannot stress enough how wrong this belief system is!
Hundreds of thousands of addicts over the years who have entered recovery programs have successfully managed their addictions long-term and have experienced all these benefits and more.
There is nothing you’ve done, you aren’t so far gone, or are the one person that can’t be helped. It is a choice, a decision that you must make to commit yourself to the path of recovery.
That is the common denominator with all the success cases that have come before you. One simple, life-changing decision and you can have all these benefits and more!
If you need help with your recovery you can get in touch with the Hotline at our Recovery Center where trained and experienced professionals are available to assist you in every way.
The staff at Chateau Recovery is always available to help you with all of your questions regarding addiction recovery and treatment. Call anytime.
A powerful video describing the impact of addiction and the hope of recovery. The story of a multi-generation family from St. George, Utah who has been through years of the cycle of drug and alcohol abuse and now have found hope through the 12 Step Drug & Alcohol Recovery Programs. There is hope and a bright future for those who want it bad enough. The Hafen family has battled addiction and now are winning the war on addiction! This video is an inspiration and gives hope to everyone struggling with addiction as well as families who have been plagued with addiction of any kind. There is HOPE!