Let me tell you a story about a woman who has struggled with addiction most of her life. As I look back on the past 20 years of my life, it saddens me to know that I let my addiction take so many years away. I entered an Intensive Outpatient Program back in 2018. I wasn’t sure when I first started treatment whether I wanted this or not. It was about the 5th or 6th week into the program that I started to realize that I wanted my life back and that I was willing to go to any lengths to get it back. Things started making sense to me as the days went along. I had always used drugs to cope with my depression and anxiety, but I wanted to do things differently now.
As the days passed, I started feeling better and better. My happiness started coming back. My counselor made a statement during class one day, and I will never forget it. She told us “A grateful heart is a happy heart!” Ever since that day, my life changed! I told myself that I would no longer allow any negativity in my life, and I will start focusing my life on being kind to others, no matter what! I started helping people that were also struggling, and this was a huge turning point in my recovery!
Recovery is worth it, but it’s hard work. You have to want it more than anything, but it takes time and constant dedication. You will have days where you feel like walls are closing in on you and days where you are on top of the world. It will stretch and reshape you mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I have seen many addicts, including myself, go through this process; not once have I heard anyone say they regret it. That’s because it is worth every tear, every up, and every down. Here are some reasons why recovery is worth it.
Feel Emotions Again
Drugs and alcohol numb every part of your mind and body. That’s why we do them, to try to cover up the painful emotions we are having. The old saying that the grass is greener on the other side, the grass is greener on the other side in recovery. Your senses start coming back. The grass is greener, the sky is bluer, and music sounds so much clearer. You will have moments of extreme happiness, and laughter, and you will have moments when you can’t seem to stop crying, but this is all normal. You are feeling emotions again!
Reconnect With Family
Addiction affects our relationships, especially with our close friends and family. If you are like me, you have lied, stolen, cheated, and hurt the ones that love and care for you the most, your biggest supporters. Recovery allows you to repair these relationships and reconnect with those that may have cut you out of their lives. You may have to cut out toxic relationships along the way, but your recovery and family therapy will help to fill that void with peace and happiness.
I know a big reason why I abused substances for all these years was because of my very low self-esteem. I have been in emotionally abusive relationships all of my life. I never thought it would be possible to come out of this, but it is! Now I can look in the mirror and be proud of the person I see on both the inside and out. Conquering addiction is not easy; it is a brave and grueling feat and something to be very proud of. When you start taking care of yourself, seek out your support system, and devote your efforts to achieving your goals, confidence will follow.
Pursue Goals And Dreams
You may want to go back to school or learn a skill or trade. Recovery will ignite those dreams. The tools you learn in recovery are also ideal for achieving your goals. You’ll have more money, time, and more peace of mind; there’s nothing beyond your reach. I know for myself recovery has inspired me to want to further my education.
Regain And Protect Your Health
Addiction destroys our health both physically and mentally. When we start to recover, others can see it, and we can both see it and feel it! I feel better now than I did before my addiction started! In recovery, we nourish our bodies and minds back to health.
Connect With Nature
We’ve already discussed this some in feeling emotions again, but when we recover, all of our senses start coming back. Things are brighter, sounds are clearer, and aromas are better than ever before. Instead of being locked up in the place we were using and locked up in our minds, we are free to experience the beauty of nature.
Prolong Your Life
I cannot tell you how many friends I have lost to the disease of addiction. In 2018, more than 67,300 people died from a drug overdose, reports from drugabuse.gov indicate. This is the most important reason why recovery is worth it, you will survive and not become another statistic.
Make True Friends
When we start the recovery process, our true friends emerge; your true friends want what’s best for you. There will be many relationships that you will have to let go of, many toxic relationships, but you will develop new relationships. You will meet many amazing people in recovery, at meetings, etc., so keep your mind open.
Inspire Others To Recover
A big part of recovery is giving back. Sharing your experience, strength, and hope with others who are struggling could help someone that has lost all hope. Your dedication and journey will lift others. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to help someone in their recovery knowing that you are part of their success and happiness.
There are so many more reasons why recovery is worth it. You are worth it! You matter! Your pain will become your strength! Your past will no longer define your future! You have the rest of your life to look forward to! If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please reach out to Recreate Life Counseling. We are available to talk to you 24 hours a day. We look forward to hearing from you.