When first quitting drugs or alcohol there are immediate gains, such as the lack of hangovers, feeling healthier physically and mentally, improved financial life, and less trouble all around from work or school or the law. Some of these gains are quite apparent from day one, while other gains may take some time before they settle in.
However, be assured, in the long run, things do get better! Further down the line, the gains will also continue to accumulate. For an idea, here are just 5 benefits of sobriety that may take a bit longer to fully enjoy.
1. Respect from Family and Friends
Your family and friends may have despaired of you at times when you were using. They may have seen you in some awful states and have lost respect due to your unpredictable behavior.
While your friends and family may be pleased as soon as you manage to quit, it takes time to fully drive home to them that you are no longer going to return to using substances, and that you are starting a new, sober life and would like to receive their love and respect again.
Whether it’s physical ailments or exposure to unsavory environments and situations, we put our health at risk when we drink or use substances. With long-term sobriety, the risks diminish and we can start to focus on living a cleaner and more comfortable life without the worry of recurring health complications brought on by the substances.
3. A Sense of Achievement
Quitting drinking or drugging is no easy task. When we finally overcome our addictions, it can take time to fully appreciate the level of commitment and self-respect we have allowed ourselves in becoming sober and learning to live a clean and sober life.
When we put down our substance of choice, we are expanding the options in our lives. Where once we were restricted by the addiction, we are now opening ourselves to a world of options by freeing ourselves of the compulsion to use. This includes everything from where we want to go next in our relationships, work, and self-growth to how we want to spend the rest of our lives in sobriety.
The longer we walk in sobriety, the more we will realize that our using and drinking life was all about drama. A life of sobriety is more settled and calmness is easily the norm.
The list goes on, but these are just some of the long-term benefits of quitting your substance of choice. It may be an uphill struggle for the first few months, or even years, after quitting, but if you stick to it, you will be able to experience all the beautiful and varied benefits of long-term recovery. So much so that you will wonder what stopped you from quitting sooner!