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12 Surprising Things Likely to Happen on Becoming Sober

inspirationGetting sober means you will be moving your life in a new direction. We hope that, by now, you can see where continued substance abuse is going to take you and that it is not somewhere you want to be. The downward spiral of addiction is depressingly predictable; however, by getting sober, you open yourself to lots of new opportunities – although getting physically sober is only really the first step in a process of recovery. Here are just 12 of the surprising things that are likely to happen to you when you give up alcohol and drugs.

1. You Feel Things More Intensely

Maybe it was the desire to not feel negative emotions that drove you into substance abuse, but this numbing down of your feelings comes with a heavy price. It means that you do not only hide from negative emotions but also the positive ones as well. When you become sober, you will start feeling things again, which can come as a shock if you have been caught up in substance abuse for many years. The good news is that the ability to feel positive emotions again more than makes up for having to deal with the negative ones.

2. You Don’t Have Enough Hours in the Day to Do All the Things You Want to Do

A common excuse that many have for continuing with the substance abuse is that they believe life will be boring upon becoming sober. The reality is that, once you give up alcohol or drugs, it opens up a world of possibilities. Individuals caught up in substance abuse are not interested in doing things that do not involve getting drunk or high – this severely limits their options in life. By getting sober, you can have many more options and it can be a real struggle to fit in all of the things you want to do because there are not enough hours in the day. There is never any real excuse to be bored in recovery, but it can take a few months before you find activities you enjoy.

3. You Experience ‘Healthy’ Laughter

People who are caught up in addiction do laugh (sometimes they laugh a lot) but it is a kind of unhealthy laugh that is often based on gallows humour or making fun of others. It can also be a type of laughter that is not really ‘felt’ as emotions are so numb. Laughter in sobriety is much different, and it must makes you feel good all over. The one thing that surprises individuals upon entering rehab is just how much laughter goes on in these places.

4. The Alarm Bell in Your Brain is Switched Off

Even when you are completely caught up in the denial of addiction, there is likely to be a part of your brain that knows what you are doing is unwise. This knowledge is similar to an alarm going off in your head – you may try to ignore it, but this alarm is always there to bug you. The unease produced by this feeling of ‘wrongness’ is the thing that eventually leads you to sobriety. One of the benefits of choosing sobriety is that it turns this alarm bell off so the constant feeling of wrongness that is there in the background is switched off.

5. You Have More Opportunities in Life

The fact that you are sober means you are going to have more opportunities. This is because you will be able to perform better at work and in your life in general. The state of your mind has a huge impact on how the world around you treats you, so getting sober will mean doors that were previously closed to you can now open. These opportunities can move you in a completely new direction, and you can probably achieve more than you ever thought possible.

6. You Rekindle Old Passions and Find New Ones

Addiction is a full-time hobby, and there is not much room for anything else. One of the benefits of getting sober is you can begin to rekindle your old passions – hobbies you had forgotten all about can become fun again. Sobriety is also a time when you can begin experimenting with completely new hobbies, which can be extremely rewarding.

7. You Are Able to Look People in the Eye

One of the negative side effects of being caught up in addiction is you can end up dealing with a great deal of shame. Many people have low self-esteem even before they fall into substance abuse, and the drinking and drug use just makes the situation worse. By getting sober, you can begin to rebuild your self-esteem and you no longer need to deal with the guilt of messing up all the time. You will soon find that you are able to look people in the eye again without any sense of shame.

8. You Wake Up Without Feeling Full of Remorse

How many times have you woken up feeling remorse because of what had occurred the night before while you were drunk or high? The great thing about being sober is that you are never going to wake up wishing you had taking drugs the day before. It means you can start each day with a sense of positivity and not with a sense of dread.

9. You Are Likely to Have to Apologise Much Less

One of the things you are likely to face while caught up in addiction is the need to regularly apologise to others. This is because substance abuse reduces your ability to make good decisions, while it encourages you to act recklessly. By getting sober, you should have far fewer things to apologise about.

10. You Enjoy the Benefits of Improved Self-Esteem

Being sober gives you the opportunity to begin working on building your self-esteem. You can do this by starting to set yourself small goals and achieving them. Once you have become good at hitting these modest targets, you can begin to set goals that are more ambitious. This process boosts your self-esteem over time, helping you become successful in life.

11. You Can Develop Emotional Sobriety

A common reason why individuals struggle with addiction is that they just do not feel able to handle their emotions. Emotional sobriety is all about building up a set of tools that you can use so you are no longer afraid of your feelings. It will not be possible to escape the vicissitudes of life – it is part of being human – but you can learn to better deal with these ups and downs.

12. You Can Achieve Serenity

Serenity is a sense of inner calm that grows over time as long as you stay sober and live life on life’s terms. These moments of serenity is the thing that makes sober living so wonderful, and you can enjoy longer and longer periods of this peace. You can eventually reach a stage in which no matter what is happening in your life, the sense of serenity is still there. This is the aim of recovery programmes such as mindfulness and the 12-steps.

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