5 Things to Look Forward to in Recovery
If you've been in active addiction for any length of time in your life, then you've thought about recovery. Perhaps it's a dirty word to you – you're not quite ready to face the perils of detox and you're fearful of getting clean.
On the other hand, you may have thought of recovery as a positive thing, but something that seems very far away from you. It's definitely a complex thing, but at some point you will covet being in recovery and it's then that you should take action because recovery is a wonderful place to be.
Why is Recovery So Great?
Well, for starters, you're clean. You're not physically addicted to a damaging substance anymore, which has been killing you from the inside out. Cravings are common, but you have actually escaped the jaws of death by no longer ingesting a substance that was ultimately going to cause your demise.
1. The Unique Opportunity to Start Again
When you get clean, most people in your life will know about it. This gives you a bit of a pass on some of the things that you may have done when you were drunk or high. It doesn't mean that they will forgive easily, but it does mean that you have a chance to apologize and set things straight.
Many people will be delighted that you've sought help and they will be understanding about your disease. You will be able to tell them that the disease was to blame and show how you are making steps to become a better person. When you look back on how bad some of your relationships had become, this opportunity to start over becomes worth its weight in gold.
If you lost a job, you can now pursue something that you'd really like to do. Or if you feel your job has lost its appeal, your mind will now be clear enough to look at other opportunities. Recovery brings so many chances to start over that it can be a very exciting time.
2. More Self-Confidence
When you're addicted to a substance, loneliness is a huge factor. You don't feel great about the world, yourself or much else really. You may often feel defeated or full of self-loathing. At no point during active addiction did you have plenty of self confidence. Abusing your preferred substance or a combination of them is often an escape method. However, it only masks the problem.
When you are in recovery, you start to address those issues and it helps you build self confidence. This feeling may be completely new to you and come as a pleasing surprise. Your confidence will build as you know that you can set goals that you can achieve.
Every time you achieve another milestone, you'll feel better. You'll learn that liking yourself isn't a bad thing, and you don't need drugs or alcohol to feel good about who you are.
3. A Clear Mind
This may be another thing that feels completely alien to you. You may have been walking around in a fog, constantly clouded by your addiction. In recovery, you'll notice straight away how clear your mind is. This is often profound in the beginning: waking without a hangover or cravings is such a good feeling that you wonder why you ever chose that lifestyle.
You'll be able to make decisions knowing that your judgement isn't impaired. You can be confident in your choices and a clear mind will always lead you to healthier options that your drug or alcohol-fueled brain did. Clarity is a huge eye-opener about many things and it will help you examine the reasons behind your addiction and deal with them in a healthy manner.
4. Better Health
Your health is something that goes by the wayside when you are struggling with addiction. Even if you tried to keep up with your gym habit while addicted to painkillers, you couldn't reap the rewards if you are suffering with substance abuse. The body is more prone to illness and disease when you are addicted. In fact, addiction itself is a disease, so when you are fighting that, how can you possibly fight anything else?
Recovery doesn't just mean that you are overcoming the addiction, but it is time for your body to mend also. Some form of physical exercise is recommended in recovery and it's not just for your mental well being. You'll have the energy and focus to take up a new hobby that can have a number of positive effects, from learning new skills to making new friends and having somewhere new to go, at least once a week.
5. Mental Strength
Battling addiction takes enormous courage, stoicism and mental strength. There are days that you will want to break down and cry. There will probably be days that you do. However, you keep going. This strength of character is developed in your recovery and it will be valuable for the rest of your life. Recovery can be hard work, but it is your own perseverance that gets you there and you can be proud of that.
Having overcome addiction you will find that you are much more mentally strong than you were before. This is something to celebrate and will be a hallmark of how people perceive you. You will be described as strong and stable, and hearing those words will make you rejoice.
It's estimated that only about one in ten people in this country who need help for their substance abuse disorder actually get it. If you want to succeed with your recovery, it is easier to do it with help than on your own. There are plenty of options out there, whether you want inpatient, outpatient or other forms of treatment. Think about all you have to gain in recovery and make that call today.