As individuals in recovery, we constantly remind ourselves what there is to lose should we drink, but we typically don't stop to consider all that we gain by not drinking. If we approach recovery from a place of gratitude, we discover all the ways we benefit daily by staying sober.
We're all aware of the physical and financial freedoms sobriety grants us. We enjoy the extra cash and the active driver’s licenses in our wallets, to roofs over our heads and the cars in our driveways. We avoid court fees and jail time, and perhaps we lose a couple of pounds.
But these things just brush the surface of what we change by giving up alcohol. But there’s also so much to gain within ourselves, in terms of character and personal achievement.
Here are 7 intrinsic things we gain (or keep) by not drinking today.
By not drinking today, you keep your integrity intact. You don’t have to lie to fulfill the needs of your addiction nor break promises to yourself and others. Our word has meaning, and we are trustworthy. We can stand in truth rather than running from it and gain serenity from the knowledge that we have no need to cover our tracks.
Being sober today makes us accountable. We know our choices and behaviors affect everyone around us, and we choose to do right by them and ourselves. We can then enjoy the peace that comes with knowing we have remained accountable and responsible for our actions.
3. Emotional Maturity
Drinking kept us emotionally unavailable and incapable, and in doing so it stunted the development of our emotional intelligence. Sobriety now allows us to grow tenfold. When we stay sober we become available, productive individuals, capable of seeking healthy relationships with ourselves and others.
More than that, we have a powerful empathy that can only grow in the process of overcoming adversity. This empathy and understanding of adversity mature us into emotional pillars of support for those we love.
4. Personal Growth
In addition to nurturing emotional growth, sobriety helps us along a broader path of personal growth. We grow not just emotionally but holistically as well—mentally, physically and spiritually. Alcohol no longer clouds our thoughts; we are not irrational or paranoid. The physical vessels which house our souls are becoming healthier—less flooded with toxins—and our spirits reconnect to our bodies and the world around us.
5. Spiritual Evolution
As we begin to reconnect to our spiritual selves in our sobriety, we evolve and begin to explore the magic of our own spirituality, even if we’re not religious. By not drinking today, we choose to see and experience the miracles. We realize we are a miracle and so is the life we currently live. We begin to see things from a whole new perspective and life becomes the high we cannot get enough of.
6. Sober Relationships
Along with life, by not drinking today, we choose love. Unconditional self-love becomes the goal we seek. Is there ever a thing as too much self-care?
As we work to love and care for ourselves through counseling, coaching, spiritual guidance and other aspects of recovery, we become holistically healthier and so do our relationships. Because relationships mirror the one we have with ourselves, we can trust that by not drinking today we know we deserve healthy ones.
As previously mentioned, by not drinking today we are performing an act of self-love. We are gaining unconditional love for ourselves and all our many past selves who led us to this place on our journey. We can stand in our truth today and possess a sense of self-respect as we practice self-care and continue healing and growing ourselves, rather than self-destructing.
By not drinking today, we choose self-love over self-sabotage, the light of love over the darkness of fear, and return to our authentic selves. And, where we once felt lost, today we are found.