Looking for a reminder of why recovery is the better option compared to ongoing drug and alcohol use? Here are 10:
It’s really tiring to maintain an addiction.
All day long, your sole focus is on getting more of your drug of choice, what new shipment of what drug is on the horizon, and where you can score if your dealer gets picked up by the cops. You’re fending off withdrawal symptoms,
All day long, your sole focus is on getting more of your drug of choice, what new shipment of what drug is on the horizon, and where you can score if your dealer gets picked up by the cops. You’re fending off withdrawal symptoms, lying to the people who love you, and trying to maintain an ongoing addiction – all while high and unable to work, function at your best, or even manage basic commitments and scheduling needs. It’s exhausting. You don’t feel good most of the time, and the hovering specter of withdrawal is constantly around you, never allowing you to stop. Compared to that, the most stressful day in sobriety is a cakewalk compared to a normal day in addiction.
Alcohol and drugs are expensive.
Super expensive. You build up a tolerance to your drug of choice relatively quickly, continually needing more and more of it in order to stave off withdrawal symptoms and get high. Pills cost money, dope costs money, alcohol costs money – some more than others, but it all adds up when you’re using every day, all day long. One of the beautiful things about sobriety is that you may feel like you work half as hard at your job than you did hustling for more drugs, and you have far more money in your pocket at the end of the week. Enough to pay rent. Buy actual groceries. Go to a movie. It’s a nice feeling.
It’s harder to know who your friends are when you’re drinking and using.
When you are constantly getting high or drunk, you can’t really hang out with anyone for long who isn’t also interested in getting high and drunk. This makes your relationships somewhat insubstantial. You never know if you are genuinely bonding with someone else. Would you get along half as well if you both weren’t wasted? Would you share the same interests? Do you even share any interests?. It’s a rare friendship that exists prior to addiction, during addiction, and survives into recovery. Friendships in sobriety, by comparison, are far more real and long-lasting, and they have the potential to bring great joy and survive incredible hardship.
It’s easier to get and maintain respect when you’re clean and sober.
You don’t say the thing you know you shouldn’t say or do the thing that you wouldn’t even consider if you weren’t high or drunk – the kinds of things that make people write you off. You may make mistakes from time to time, but in sobriety, you have the ability to choose integrity, positivity, and genuinely connect with others – all that leads to relationships defined by respect.
There are fewer moments of awkward apologies and explanation in sobriety.
Remember those regrettable decisions made while under the influence or in pursuit of getting high? When you stop doing them, you don’t have to deal with their consequences, including having to apologize for yourself the next day.
The tough times you get through when you’re sober make the best stories later on.
The “I was sooooo wasted” stories are a dime a dozen, and most of them have only minimal truth to them. They just aren’t very interesting. But the stories defined by strong choices in the face of adversity, including the choice to avoid relapse, are so much more complex, layered, and genuine that they are compelling naturally. It is from these stories and experiences that you will draw strength the next time you feel like drinking or getting high. If you’ve gotten through a tough time while sober once, you can do it again.
You learn more when you’re aware and present.
Whether you are celebrating, mourning, bored, or dealing with anger or any big emotion, choosing to experience it fully without alcohol or drugs means that you are present and more likely to grow from the experience. When you climb in a bottle, shoot up, take pills, or snort something, you effectively shut off, and the possibility of gaining something positive from the experience – mentally, psychologically, or emotionally – is gone.
The decisions made under the influence usually make everything worse.
Choosing to drink or get high is only the first poor choice – what usually follows is a domino effect of questionable behavior. Most people wake up the next day feeling like crap, both physically and emotionally. In addition to still having to deal with the original issue, you have to deal with all the new problems caused by choices made under the influence.
There’s probably someone who really wants you to choose sobriety.
Most of living sober is about identifying why you need to do it for yourself and staying focused on that as much as possible. But sometimes, a reminder that someone else is really hoping that you will choose not to drink or get high is a little boost that reinforces your dedication to live a clean and sober life for yourself.
You are far better sober than wasted.
You are an amazing person. You have the ability to be and do anything. Though you can choose to drink or use drugs, those behaviors do not represent the best of you – the part that is defined by strength, individuality, and integrity. You are more interesting, creative, and fun when you are sober than when you are dragging yourself through drinking and drug binges. To live your life as the best version of yourself – for YOU – may just be the best reason to get and stay sober.