Some days you just might feel a bit more squirrely than others. If this is you today, don’t give up. Remember, the answer has never been and is never to drink or use.
Here are 10 reasons to remind yourself why it’s worth every bit of you to stay clean and sober.
1. You are free.
Drinking and using is a full-time job. It takes all and leaves very little behind. From the first sip or hit, the chase begins whether you really want to get high or not. Think of those firm resolutions of going on the wagon for keeps. As ludicrous as it sounds, it’s actually easier to stay sober than it is to get sober. Just for today, you don’t have to be a slave to alcoholism.
2. You can reinvent yourself.
Alcoholism and substance abuse stifles the beautiful person that you truly are. Now that you’re in recovery, you can become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Even if you’re not quite sure who that is, now is your chance to find out who you are and are not. Today, choose to be someone who keeps their word and can be counted on. When you put your sobriety first, you’ll discover an entire host of opportunities waiting to be discovered. Perhaps you’ll go back to school, expand your career goals or become active in your local recovery group. The possibilities are endless when you choose sobriety one day at a time.
3. You can rebuild relationships.
Remember how it felt to disappoint those you loved over and over again? Maybe you were the parent who neglected your kids. Perhaps you stole or borrowed money that you never paid back. What about the countless promises that you were going to do better only to fall short again? Sobriety is an opportunity to become the son, daughter, parent or friend that you’ve always wanted to be. Now you finally get a chance to repair the harm you caused in the past as a result of drinking and using.
4. You can be present for your children.
While in active addiction, sometimes it’s easy to think that you’re only hurting yourself. But what about those who depend on you most, like your children? Being clean and sober today lets you show up for your children in a real way. You get to be present to help out with homework, attend their games and recitals or bond over old-fashioned ice cream on a hot summer day. Recovery lets you develop real relationships with children. You no longer have to carry the guilt and remorse of ignoring or yelling at them.
5. You have love for yourself.
One of the greatest gifts we get in sobriety is self-love. Self-love means taking care of yourself and staying dedicated to your recovery. It involves going to meetings, working the steps and helping those newer than you. Self-love is learning to say “no” when appropriate so that you don’t create new wreckage and resentments. It’s learning to live one day at a time. All of these things work hand in hand with sobriety to help boost your self-worth and self-love.
6. You have freedom from pain.
Let’s face it. Drinking was an excellent painkiller and it worked really well for a long time. Then, a day came when it just stopped working. In sobriety, we come to terms with our childhood traumas, abuse we’ve suffered and emotional pain. The 12-step recovery plan is a one-size-fits-all painkiller. It frees us from the pain of drinking and from people, places and things that are not good for us. Today, we don’t have to become slaves to pain again. We are able to look at it head-on and live in resolution.
7. You are no longer trapped in shame and guilt.
Hold your head up high today. Look people in their eyes. Give a good hug or a handshake knowing that you are clean and sober, and that your past does not define who you are.
8. You have a new level of self-respect.
In sobriety, we learn that setting healthy boundaries is a good thing. You’re able to stand for something and be true to your values and beliefs. In order for us to show respect for others, we must learn to respect ourselves first. Remember: you can’t give away what you don’t have. With that being said, waking up clean and sober today means that you are loving and respecting yourself as well being kind to those around you.
9. You have the ability to stand on your own two feet.
How many jobs did drinking and using take away? Perhaps, at some point, you were unemployable. One of the core principles of a clean and sober life is to become a self-supporting adult by way of your own contributions. This doesn’t mean that you don’t ask for help if you need it, but the goal is to be responsible through your own efforts. This helps build self-esteem and confidence.
10. You are finding your path.
By not drinking and using today you get to discover your purpose. What is your gift? Who are you meant to be? Sobriety doesn’t mean that everything is going to go your way and that life is going to be perfect, but by staying sober today, you get to chart a new route and truly live.