I’ll never forget my early recovery days. I also remember seriously doubting that I’d ever have the same level of enthusiasm for recovery and life as most people with long term sobriety seemed to have. I maintain my recovery through AA, which has worked well for me, but everyone is different. Whatever keeps you sober and (relatively) sane is the way you should do it.
One of the first people I ever met in AA was a guy called Fernando. He had, like, twenty years clean at that point which to me seemed like a million years (it still kinda does) and he looked like a kid even though he was well into his 40’s. I’d never met anyone so outspoken, charismatic, and sometimes inappropriate who wasn’t also under the influence. But, he was also one of the happiest people I’d ever met, and each time he shared at a meeting, he’d end his share with, “hip-hip-AA!” It was really funny, but it also used to drive me nuts early on because I just couldn’t wrap my head around being that enthusiastic about sobriety.
Anyway, I mention the Fernando story because I get it now. I’ve been around for a little while (touch wood – I take this sober deal one day at a time), and guess what? I totally share Fernando’s sentiment, and because this isn’t an AA pitch per se, let’s just go with, “hip-hip-sobriety!” (I totally know “sobriety” doesn’t rhyme with “hooray”).
While this list could be virtually endless, here are five reasons why recovery is where it’s at:
Hangover-free mornings! Seriously, does it get any better than this? Maybe for all those unicorns out there who can control their drug and alcohol use (okay, they’re not actually unicorns, they’re the vast majority of the population, but hey). For those of us who fall on the addict-y spectrum, on the other hand, hangovers are pretty normal. At least I know they were for me and I have a hunch I’m not alone. And my hangovers always felt like the zombie apocalypse. What a treat it is now to wake up clear-headed and ready to take on the day like a boss.
You’ll save so much money! Just think of all the cash spent on booze, drugs, and every impulse purchase that happens when we’re completely obliterated? Alcohol and drugs are expensive, and so are last-minute spontaneous flights to Vegas (and rounds at the bar on us for our twenty new friends at the Hard Rock Hotel). Benders don’t come cheap for many of us. When you’re clean and sober, on the other hand, that bender money gets to go toward things like gym memberships, retirement, plane tickets for amazing trips we’ll actually remember, and the list goes on. Hip-hip-ch-ching!
You just feel healthier. Once you ditch alcohol and other substances, your body will thank you. And yes, of course, if you were doing really hard stuff, your body will momentarily be pissed off and no one here is trying to minimize how agonizingly uncomfortable detoxing can be. But once we’re in the clear and all the crap has left our systems, that hazy feeling lifts, we feel clear-headed, and we can do things like exercise more effectively, feel energized at work, and just feel good in general. Often times when we get clean, we also start eating better as well, so in general, our bodies are just happier.
Relationships improve. It’s quite common for those with a history of drug and alcohol abuse to have some damaged or relationships, or at least a handful of some slightly tarnished relationships. When we get clean, we usually learn how to have more meaningful relationships moving forward, and are able to go back and repair relationships that we may have thought we’d permanently destroyed. Over time, when friends and loved ones begin to see that we’re making lasting and permanent changes in our lives for the better, this spills over into our relationships. It’s yet another one of the many gifts that recovery can bring us, and what an awesome gift it is.
We get to have cool experiences that we can actually remember. Okay, so not every active addict blacks out or forgets stuff, but a lot of us do (or did), particularly if said cool experience was happening amidst a heavy binge or bender. I know I’ve missed, like, entire vacations to Cabo when I was active because I was literally too blitzed out to remember anything. So many of my days spent actively drinking or using are a big blur, including some really special moments, like friends’ weddings, baby showers, graduations – stuff like that. What a gift to finally be able to participate in life, and actually have a clear recollection of all these special moments.
Once again, this list could go on and on, but this is just a little smidge of why recovery is awesome. As for Fernando, he’s still around and we chat from time to time. I don’t live in the same town as Fernando anymore, but I do love our catch-ups. He still hasn’t aged a day, and he’s got that same sparkle, outspoken personality and energy level that he had when I met him. Hip-hip-recovery! It really is where it’s at
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If you or someone you know and love is struggling to get clean, Kembali Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn about our various treatment programs. Remember, you never have to do this alone.