Your friends tell you you’re glowing. Some ask, “Have you lost weight?” or “Did you have any work done?” Inside, you smile knowing that neither is true. Your light aura comes from the absence of the monkey you carried on your back for years. While it took an enormous amount of work (and maybe even a couple of setbacks), now that you’re sober and free, the joy of living is in the palm of your hand.
Here are just 4 of the many facets of life that just grow sweeter, more enjoyable and altogether better in sobriety.
Now that you’re sober, you have the complete freedom to be honest in your relationships. All the energy and effort it once took to fabricate stories and be deceitful about your whereabouts is now put into a positive place in sobriety—and what a welcome relief. You no longer have the pressure to put on a happy face in front of others because you truly are happy. You’re able to give yourself permission to have a tough day, ask for help when you need it and realize that the world will not end if you tell the truth. The tense mindset of your past has dissipated and the joy of living an authentic life simply feels astounding.
You missed so many precious moments and special events when you were under the influence. Family and friends told you how great a birthday party was or how wonderful a celebration had been, yet you never remembered a moment of it, despite being physically present.
Gone are the days when you examine photos of the party and find yourself unable to recall even taking pictures or perhaps trying to figure out if you caused any embarrassment the night before. Now, the conversation and details of every gathering is clear and in focus. You get to be present with others at an emotional, tangible and mental level.
The first sober night you slept without any interruption or fear can only be described with one word: blissful.
You weren’t pacing around the house, concerned about where your next fix would come from, stressing out about where you can get money for alcohol nor wondering if your hidden stash has been found. For the first time in a very long time, your sleep was peaceful and your waking hours were filled with happiness.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) estimates that out of the millions of full time employees in the U.S., nearly 15 million are heavy drinkers. Maybe you were one of the lucky ones who, during some of your nastiest drug and alcohol episodes, a few of your buddies at work covered for your long night of substance abuse in one or way or another. Or maybe they didn’t.
Nonetheless, you can imagine their relief or surprise when you returned to being a contributing member of the office. Now, armed with your newfound self-confidence, you are once again able to lead cross-functional team meetings, follow up on important tasks, answer emails with clarity and successfully engage in just about every task associated with a “normal” work day. You have regained the ability to get out of bed in the morning without wondering how you will make it through the day without your substance.
There are dozens of reasons to feel thankful for your sober life. Through sobriety, you’re able to make healthy decisions that leave you feeling liberated and fulfilled. After all, you have emancipated yourself from the obsession with your substance of choice. Give yourself a pat on the back and take a few moments to remember that today is one joyful and glorious day in your sober life.