What you gain in recovery from addiction is invaluable. There has yet to be an instrument that can measure the peace of mind and health you gain being sober and drug-free. Before you can get to a healthy feeling and peaceful spirit, you need to go through some steps.
The steps to recovery can be complicated, painful, difficult and hard to do. Most of the time, the steps you take towards recovery include a treatment center, counselor, peer, support group, friends, and family members who may be helping you along the way. You must use them when you need to and reach out to them when you stumble on your path to sobriety.
Research on Recovery Based on Time Periods
A recent study showed that 94% of the participants stated that staying addiction-free depends on, in part, how long you can stay in recovery and sober. Some common time themes they found with addiction recovery is:
- A third of people who are abstinent less than a year will remain sober
- When an addict reaches a year of sobriety, less than half of them will relapse
- Once you are five years sober, the chance of relapse is less than 15 percent
There are eight clear things you gain when you are sober. Below you will find information, statistics, and research on all eight things. As you read about them, take it one step further, and imagine you have those things today. How much better would your life be then?
You have people in your life who love you and whom you love. It is those people who have been the most affected as you struggled with your addiction. They have hoped you would get better. They have been with you when you tried to reach sobriety. They have probably been with you when you relapsed a few times.
But, if there is one powerful and heartfelt to get sober, it is the relationship you have with yourself and those you love. If you want to have them and keep them in your life, you need to keep working to be drug and alcohol-free.
Most addicts spend an enormous amount of money on alcohol and drugs when they are addicted. If you could count up all the money you lost along the way in purchasing drugs and alcohol, how much money would you have? One of the best benefits of living a sober lifestyle is the ability to have your income go towards things that make a difference or that you want because it is healthy.
Some of those who are now sober can buy their first home or a car. Some may start saving money for the first time. You can now do what you want with your money in a healthy and meaningful way.
You may have never known who you were, why you started using drugs and alcohol, or how you got fully addicted to drugs or alcohol. But, by the time you finish in a treatment center and begin working with counselors, support groups, and with other rehabilitation tools, you will understand yourself. It is by finding and understanding yourself you find self-esteem. There is no longer any reason to hide or feel ashamed of yourself. You are healthy and sober, and you have control of your life, sometimes for the first time.
You may not know how long it has been since you felt healthy. Maybe now that you are sober, you can participate in jogging, exercise, meditation, yoga, or countless other physical and mental activities. When you are addicted, you cannot leave your circle of addiction comfort. When you are healthy, you feel rejuvenated and whole for the first time in a long time. Treatment centers and self-help groups like AA help you with the treatment you need to followed by the social support to encourage you on your path to sobriety.
There may be no time in your life when you find out more about how strong you are than when you go through the steps to become sober and drug-free. You have to fight temptation most of the time. You have pain and discomfort, and you want to take drugs to help you deal with it. Your body is fragile and weak from all the drugs you took over the years. You will find out you have gained incredible strength in your body and mind when you become sober.
If you ever wanted to find out who you are or were meant to be, now that you are sober, you can apply yourself 100 percent. Careers take a hit when you are amid an addiction. Trust is eroded, and your concentration is on getting more substances, not on what your job demands. You can have success in a career once you are living free and sober.
Meaningful Activities and Hobbies
Maybe you always wanted to learn how to fly or dance. Whatever you want to learn or spend time on, the options are endless. If you want to draw and paint or meditate and learn, your life now has time for all of it. Sobriety allows you to not worry about where you go, who you see or what you are doing.
You may have everything you dreamed of and are living the life of your dreams right now. But if you are addicted to substances, you aren't free. The substances own you. You aren't free because you are a slave to getting your next hit or drink.
Living in freedom can be done. But to gain recovery and all the invaluable freedoms sobriety brings you, you have to take the first step. Your first step is through a treatment center that can help you develop a treatment plan that leads to your first taste of freedom.