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When you’re an addict, kicking drugs and alcohol permanently is good for the body and mind. In fact, a few of the recovering addicts I spoke to said that sobriety even helped them overcome their problems with anxiety and self-doubt. Here are a few of the inspiring discoveries they shared with me.
It takes away your fear
For Cody, it was heroin that pulled him into a life of addiction. A musician from Pennsylvania, his drug of choice had cost him success in his career, including the opportunity to play at a large festival. His journey to sobriety took him to inpatient drug rehab — but he arrived feeling completely overwhelmed.
“When I first got [to treatment] I was really scared. I was shaking,” he said. “I was scared to death. I didn’t know where I was, I didn’t know who these people were.”
He did the only thing he could think of, the thing that felt most natural: he turned to music. Cody overcame his nerves — but more than that, he said he found courage and clarity.
“I grabbed my guitar and there was literally a concert going on: everybody’s eyes were all on me, and it really changed my whole perspective,” he remembered. “It’s probably the first time I ever actually played sober, and it felt really good. It gave me hope. ...
“I came to this realization that inner peace starts with the things around me, and I’ve always thought that it starts within myself,” Cody went on. “Now it starts with the things around me.”
It gives you strength
Most of us can relate to wanting to start over. Sometimes it comes from a place of wanting — like after graduation or a tough break-up — and other times it comes from a need for change. Regardless of the reason, it takes strength to confront your issues and move forward.
Carlee said that in her fight to become a better person, sobriety gave her the edge she needed to push through.
“I just wanted to start over to better my life,” she explained. “[Now that I’m sober] I’m going to be able to go out and face the problems and the things that I once ran from.”
Even if what you’re walking away from is harmful, it’s still frightening to go out on your own. But if you can find the bravery to face the unknown, you just might discover it’s exactly what you needed.
“I’m comfortable in my own skin now,” Carlee said. “I don’t feel like I need drugs to support myself, and I don’t feel like I need drugs to be happy in life.”
It makes you confident
Choosing the sober path might sound like a single action, but the truth is it’s so much more than that.
“I’m not going to lie: this process of recovery isn’t easy, and it never will be for any one of us. It’s a lifelong battle,” Breanna asserted.
But to be able to commit to your new life you have to truly believe you can, and that’s harder than it might seem. Fortunately, Breanna said that the light of sobriety gave her faith in her future and in herself:
“Nobody said life was going to be easy. They just promised that it would be worth it — and now I know that. I have realized through this program that it’s OK to be me, and others don’t have to accept it. It is what it is, because I have confidence in myself now.”
(For more information, visit recoverywell.org. I'd like to thank Constance for the opportunity to share her post with those who may be suffering with addiction and need to know that there is a way out.~Roy)