People like taking drugs and drinking alcohol because of the effect produced by them. Many people feel more confident, good-looking, and fun. It can make the constant chatter in your mind go away.
Drinking alcohol is socially acceptable in this country. However, some think that drugs should always be illegal in this country and anybody who uses them is a criminal.
Regardless, alcohol and illegal (and prescription) are easily available to anyone that wants them. Drinking alcohol and doing drugs can be fun. But what about when it stops being fun? What happens when someone can’t stop and it literally tears their life to shreds?
Addiction can drag a person to the depths of hell before they know what hit them. Addiction is a sneaky enemy of life and doesn’t discriminate.
So even though using and drinking can be fun, is it always better than being sober?
At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping individuals develop healthier habits and build a life in long term recovery.
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Many people fall under that category of “weekend warriors.” Weekend warriors can drink heavily and do cocaine every Friday and Saturday and are able to stop.
They feel lousy come Sunday morning, but they drink some water, maybe fold some laundry, and get ready for work on Monday.
There are those who only drink on holidays, or smoke meth only while their significant others are out of town. The point is, these people have some control regarding when they use and how much they use. They also have control over when they are going to stop.
However, there is a small percentage of people who are unable to control their recreational use of drugs.
They try hard to be like their weekend warrior friends, but they just aren’t able to. Over a period of time, their using gets worse. They drink or use more and more as their tolerance builds and their consequences start to pile up.
These are the earmarks of real addicts (alcoholics).
If you have little control over the amount you take or when you want to quit using for good and for all and can’t then you are probably an addict.
Accepting you’re an addict is not usually a fun process. For many, using is their number one coping mechanism for life. When you use, your goal is to alleviate pain both physically and emotionally.
The idea of getting sober may sound terrifying. Many will ask, “what am I supposed to do as a sober individual? Life is going to be boring, and the monotony of life will drive me crazy!”
Thankfully, this is inaccurate.
Sobriety is beautiful, meaningful, and even fun. When given an honest look, it is apparent that being sober is better than constantly being under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
There are many pros to being sober. A sober life is filled with meaningful moments that you will remember the next day. People abusing Xanax, for instance, will lose huge chunks of their life. They may not remember much of what they did for a 5 year period.
Being able to remember the important moments in your life is just one of the reasons why being sober is better than using and drinking.
Addiction separates you from the people that love you. Not only will you not remember an event like a sibling getting married, but you are also more likely to make a fool of yourself while under the influence at such an event.
Not only does addiction isolate you from the people that love you, but it also isolates you from society at large.
In addiction, there are two types of people an addict encounters: people who are going to help them get their drug of choice, and people who are going to get in the way of their using. That’s a pretty narrow view of the world.
In many addiction recovery groups (such as Alcoholics Anonymous) there is a vast fellowship waiting for you when you get sober. Recovery is more than attending meetings and being of service at hospitals and institutions.
Recovery is about spending time with fellow sober addicts (the meeting after the meeting), long hours at diners with endless coffee, going on camping trips, and fundraisers that include sports such as volleyball and basketball.
Recovery is about having a connection with other people, which you just can’t have when you’re using and drinking — that’s why being sober is better.
Goals and Dreams
If you are someone who struggles with substance abuse, you remember a time when life wasn’t just about the drugs. Maybe you played baseball, painted, excelled in subjects like biology, or played music regularly.
Many people think that sobriety is going to be this lifeless thing where all they do is sit around with grumpy old men in meetings and talk about their marital problems.
That may be how Hollywood depicts sobriety sometimes, but a life without drugs and alcohol is about new beginnings.
Picking that guitar back up, going roller skating with friends, or even going back to school to finish your degree — these things are a big part of the sober life that is waiting for you.
Addicts and alcoholics are some of the smartest and talented individuals on the planet. Being in active addiction is a full-time job and requires manipulating resources to get the next “fix.” Imagine turning that drive toward something great!
It’s said that if you put in half of the dedication required to continue using or drinking into your recovery, you will be amazed at the outcome.
Self Care and Self Love Make Being Sober Better
The disease of addiction strips people of their dignity. Staying in motels, selling your body, stealing from people (even the ones you love); these are all a part of an addict’s everyday life.
Most addicts (in the grip of their disease) can’t even look at the person they see in the mirror.
Sobriety is a gift. It grants the opportunity to start and establish new habits. Showering regularly, brushing your teeth, doing laundry, and going to the grocery store are things that stop happening due to active addiction. Many addicts in recovery also begin to go to the gym consistently.
By engaging in these types of activities, you will eventually be able to look at the person in the mirror and like what you see. Self-love is one of the most important parts of a sober life.
Every Journey Starts with the First Step
Getting sober can seem like an extremely overwhelming task, but it only has to be overwhelming if you go it alone.
However, there are many people and places you can reach out to that will be more than willing to get you started on the path to recovery. Methods such as 12-step programs and SMART recovery are readily available all over the world.
There are built-in fellowships of addicts in recovery all over the world ready to extend their hand to you.
You can do it, and there are people that want to help!
At ASIC Recovery, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is dedicated to helping individuals develop healthier coping skills and build a recovery supportive network in all aspects.
Click to learn more.
Cristal Clark, LPC-S, is the Medical Reviewer for ASIC Recovery Services. She reviews all website content for quality and medical accuracy. She is a master’s level Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and graduated from Liberty University in 2011. She has worked in the behavioral and mental health field for over 12 years and has a passion for helping others. She has been clinical director and CEO of a 200 plus bed facility, PHP, and IOP, with experience managing a team of counselors, individual/group/and family therapy, and coordinating continuum of care. Cristal is trained in EMDR and certified in non-violent intervention. She is a member of American Counseling Association and American Association of Christian Counselors.