Live a Sober Life with Benefits
When it comes around to Friday or Saturday night, many of us have a routine.
We come home from work, get dressed up, and head out for a good time with friends.
Or maybe we sit down to dinner with a bottle of wine or a couple of beers, or maybe we go over to a friend’s house and smoke a joint.
Alcohol and drugs are so ingrained in our culture that living a completely sober life seems impossible.
But not only is this possible, but it can also come with some amazing benefits. Read on to learn more about how to live a sober life and what great things it can bring you.
Have Honest Fun
Let’s start off with a simple answer to the question: sober living is possible, and it can bring a number of amazing benefits with it. For one thing, once you’re living sober, you’ll start to have more good, honest fun.
In our culture, there is an idea that you have to be drinking to have fun, but that simply isn’t true.
Think about all the amazing things you could be doing when you’re spending time in a bar, getting high, or drinking at home.
If the sun’s up, you could explore national parks or local museums, and at night, you and your friends could try different cuisines, go see local shows, or have a game night at home.
And best of all, unlike when you’re drinking or using drugs, you’ll remember every bit of fun.
Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms
In our society, when things go wrong, people tend to turn to substance abuse as a coping mechanism. Everything from media to friends tells us that the response to a bad day at work is to have a stiff drink.
At the end of the week, we blow off steam and release some stress by tossing a few back or getting high with our friends.
But none of these coping mechanisms is healthy, and none of them get to the root of the issue. When you’re sober, you turn to healthier coping mechanisms like exercise, meditation, journaling, spending time with friends, and attending therapy.
And think about how much better it would feel to wake up on a Saturday morning, not hungover and crawling to the bathroom, but refreshed and ready to strap on your running shoes and go for a jog.
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Find Your Real Friends
One of the big barriers to sobriety for many people is a concern that they’ll lose their friends. After all, if you’re sober, it’s hard to hang out with friends who only hang out in bars or get high.
And since you can’t make lifestyle choices for anyone else, you may not be able to ask them to start doing something else.
We won’t deny that you may lose a few friends during your journey to sobriety. But here’s the good news: you’ll discover who your true friends are along the way, and you’ll have deeper and more genuine relationships with those people.
You become like the five people you spend the most time with, and once you start spending time sober, you’ll discover people who lead you to a better lifestyle.
Set Your Priorities Straight
When you’re using drugs, alcohol or otherwise, your priorities in life become warped. That substance starts to act like gravity, and your need for it pulls everything in your life out of perspective.
You may find that you aren’t where you want to be in your relationships, your career, or your personal achievements.
Once you start living sober, you can set your priorities back in line. You no longer have that substance demanding your time and resources, so you can start looking with fresh eyes at what you want in life.
You can rediscover what’s truly important in life and take steps to make that a priority in your daily routine.
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Discover New Opportunities
Drinking or getting high puts you in a haze in your life, and you may find that you’re missing out on some amazing opportunities. Maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end job because you can’t manage to go above and beyond in your performance.
Maybe you’re in a relationship that’s going nowhere because you can’t see how you could get anything better.
But once you’re sober, those doors start to open back up again. You have more energy and resources to put into doing the best work you can at your job, and you discover that you don’t have to stay in that toxic relationship.
You can begin to move onto better things in your life without the distraction of substance use weighing you down.
Become Financially Free
One of the consequences of drug use we don’t think about very often is the financial impact. Drinks are expensive, and drugs no less so.
You may be spending a lot of your money every week on alcohol or drugs, and that means you have a lot less money to spend in the important areas of life.
Imagine how much money you would have at the end of a year if you took the money you’re spending on drinks or drugs and put it into a savings account.
How long would it be until you could make a down payment on a car or go on a nice trip? How much longer until you could pay off all your debt or buy a house?
Learn to Love Yourself
Oftentimes, when we’re drinking or using drugs, it’s because we don’t feel like we’re able to cope with life on our own. We may feel weak or unloved, and so we use these substances to cope.
And if you’ve tried getting sober in the past and failed, that may be weighing on you as proof that you aren’t good enough.
But as with every other area of your life, once you’re sober, you’ll be able to see yourself more clearly. You’ll start to see all the wonderful things you’ve done in your life and the beauty you live in each day.
You’ll also be able to take pride each day in the fact that you’re making the best choices for your life and your health.
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Help Others Around You
Once you’re on the path to sober living, you’ll also be gifted with a tremendous opportunity: the chance to help others around you.
For one thing, you’ll have more resources to contribute to things like volunteering or donating to charities if you wish. But you can also act as a role model to others working to get sober.
When you’re getting sober, you may have a role model or sponsor who helps you along the way. This person serves as an inspiration and a guide through the toughest parts of your journey.
And eventually, you may be able to play that role for someone else, helping them to unlock their best life.
Take It One Step at a Time
So how do you go about pursuing all these benefits of the sober life? One of the big tricks is to take things one step at a time.
If you’re dealing with an addiction, consider seeking treatment and help with both the withdrawal process and the steps to come.
From there, take things one little step at a time. However long you think you can go without drinking or using drugs, do that, and then tackle the next section of time.
This may mean taking things one hour at a time, but if you string enough consecutive hours together, eventually, you have a lifestyle of sobriety.
Find New Hobbies
When you’re getting sober, you may suddenly find that you have a ton of time on your hands. During the time you used to drink or get high, you’re now at loose ends.
And it’s very important to fill that time or it can become easy to slip back into old habits.
Pick up some new hobbies to fill that extra space in your life. For some people, this means working out, and for others, it’s volunteering.
You may get involved with a D&D game in your area or start learning woodworking or cake decorating or start attending improv or ballroom dance lessons in your area; pick something that sounds fun to you, and roll with it!
Be Kind to Yourself
Most of all, during this time, you need to be kind to yourself. Remember, one of the goals of getting sober is to feel better about yourself. And there may be setbacks during this time, but it’s never too late to get up and try again; in fact, you’ll be stronger for doing so.
Take time out for self-care during this time in your life. Reward yourself for hitting certain milestones, and don’t beat yourself up if things go off the rails for a bit.
Surround yourself with people who support you, and do your best to be good to yourself on your journey to sobriety.
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Learn How to Live a Sober Life
Living a sober life can be a challenge, but it’s one that’s more than worth the effort.
You’ll find yourself more fulfilled, happier, more connected, and better off than when you were drinking or using drugs.
Find the support you need, and be gentle with yourself as you journey down the path to a sober life.
If you’d like to start on your sober living journey today, reach out to us at Pathfinders Recovery Centers.
We treat a variety of addictions, ranging from alcoholism to heroin, meth, and prescription pill addictions.
Contact us today to start on the path to living a better life.