Even for individuals not directly affected by addiction, choosing a sober lifestyle can be challenging. There are numerous reasons why sober living is a great living option, as it encourages finding joy in the present moment, gives greater freedom to navigate life, and fosters personal growth. Choosing to live life sober is choosing a fulfilled life.
#1. Experience Joy In the Present Moment
The first reason to consider living sober would be that doing so encourages experiencing joy in the present moment. Dependence on drinking or using drugs inevitably takes away the full awareness of the present, as one may constantly be thinking about or seeking drugs. When individuals turn to drink or drug use, they may be doing so because they crave the euphoric feeling that the drug produces. Constant seeking of these chemical feelings covers up one’s natural seeking of joy.
Choosing a sober life can transform one’s connection to the present moment. As life on Earth is temporary and precious, it is essential to prioritize connection to one another and connection to the planet. Nature has its own healing components that directly benefit one’s mental state and positively influence one’s sense of well-being. Drug use can cloud natural sensory experiences that seem to be what connects an individual to a given moment. Mindful awareness of the present moment can help each person think more clearly, accept what is out of their control, and be authentically themselves.
Joy is a feeling of pleasure and happiness. Often people connect drinking or drug use as temporary experiences of pleasure. At a certain point in time, an individual may no longer find joy in anything other than drinking or using. Individuals reaching this point in addiction are not aware of the vast beauty that the present moment offers. Look at the setting of a family party, for example. Someone with alcohol dependence may seek out drinks at the party for the sake of easier socialization. This directly impacts the quality of time spent with one’s loved ones, no matter how often it may be. Staying sober in this situation can increase the authenticity of conversation and greater appreciation for the present moment.
Finding the natural joy of life during recovery can be difficult at first, as the brain lacks dopamine caused by drinking or drug use. However, these lack of chemicals in the brain can be replaced with new, natural experiences of pleasure and joy. Transform recovery by prioritizing connection with the present moment. Become immersed in all that this world has to offer. Ekhart Tolle said it best, “The present moment is all you ever have. There is never a time when your life is not ‘this moment.”
#2. Create the Life You Want to Live
Considering a sober lifestyle directly implies choosing to create a life that one imagines for themself — one that they want to live out. Addiction and dependence on drinking or drug use can become entirely out of one’s control. Physical dependence within the body or repetitive mental cravings of a substance can make an individual feel like there is no choice but to continue use. Choosing to live sober means taking responsibility and accountability for one’s life.
The less time is spent thinking or acting on drug use, the more time there is to dedicate to living a life one has imagined for themself. There is more time in a day to focus on personal goals, healthy hobbies, and building up a future in a sober life than there is elsewhere. Creating goals is a necessary step in daily life as much as it is a necessity in recovery. Coming out of treatment and navigating life again can be scary, but it is a fresh slate to build new dreams and plans. This is an excellent opportunity to find something to be passionate about as well. Many people have dreams of moving their life to a new city or state. What better time to move than choosing a new, sober lifestyle?
#3. Become The Most Authentic “You”
The third reason to consider a sober life is that it can foster personal growth and encourage individuals to become the most authentic version of themself. With substance dependence and thoughts of using turned down, there is more time to better oneself. Focusing necessary time and energy on personal growth is a challenge for everyone at one point or another, especially when someone has never done it before. However, devoting time to personal development will influence one’s image of themself more positively and foster positive qualities within them.
Becoming authentic begins with a learning process of holding oneself accountable, being genuine with connection, and showing responsibility for one’s life. There is no longer a substance that can be blamed for one’s actions, and all responsibility lies on the individual. This can initially be challenging, as dealing with shame and blame is already difficult for anyone. Authenticity is being genuine and bringing awareness to the weaknesses and temptations that each person will experience throughout their life. Considering a sober life accounts for a life motivated by growth and development, knowing that there will always be challenges.
Considering a sober lifestyle is a challenge, although there are endless benefits of living a sober life. Regular substance use can develop into dependence or addiction if someone decides to live a life outside of sobriety. However, sobriety can lead to a deeper connection to the present moment, the ability to create one’s life how one wants to live it, and a more authentic expression of oneself. At West Coast Recovery Centers, we can assist you with the resources you need to help you commit to a sober lifestyle. We have many treatment options for those experiencing addiction or seeking recovery and would be grateful to help you on your journey. Our goal is to provide you with a level of care that is not only clinically appropriate but allows you to fulfill your other obligations. We offer a wide variety of levels of care to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs. Call (760) 492-6509.