It can be terrifying to think about quitting a drug oralcohol addiction and then sticking with it long-term. This is due, in part, tothe understandable and widespread anxiety of what being sober will feel like.It can be boring, monotonous, and empty to suddenly look at life without theself-medicating highs and euphoric getaways that drugs or alcohol formerlyoffered. Although understandable, this point of view is thankfully frequentlymistaken and easily disproven, as a member of the FHE Health Alumni Programrecently explained.
How sobriety might appear dull
The life you picture without drugs seems terrible whenyou're still actively abusing drugs. It appears that maintaining sobriety willbe difficult, tedious, uncomfortable, and even impossible. Recovery might alsofeel more like regressing than moving forward when going to rehab necessitatestemporarily removing yourself from your life to focus on getting better.
In retrospect, I see that I formerly had a lot of these samethoughts and emotions, but that was only because I hadn't fully experiencedsobriety. That person is a participant in our alumni program who consented toan interview on this subject under the condition of anonymity. If you'rethinking, "How do you know?' she responded, "I can tell you that it'sbecause I'm sober and am aware that it doesn't feel like a boring, depressing,or difficult job to me. Furthermore, it might be beneficial to know that I'mspeaking as someone who detested the drug-fueled life I had but didn't want tolead a perfect life in sobriety either.
What Sobriety Feels Like
What does it feel like to be sober then? Who you ask andwhere they are in their recovery can influence their response to this question.Various stages of recovery have been described in the following ways by thosewho have experienced sobriety:
v I believe that my life is finally coming backtogether.
v Sobriety is anything but dull, in my opinion.
v "Feeling every emotion"
v Much more enjoyable
When we asked our alumna to describe how it feels to besober, she provided a thorough and enticing account that effectivelyencapsulated these crucial details. Sobriety, in her opinion...
Really good feeling
How good exactly? To the point of saying that being sober is"in a bizarre manner" similar to being intoxicated, our alumna went.She described it as follows: "I am not talking about the way it felt to behigh in the sense of intoxication, blackouts, impairment, or strong,short-lasting bliss; I am talking about how you have no care in the world, lifeis fun, you are a part of it, and you aren't scared," the speakerclarified. You feel content within because you are a part of the world and thepeople around you. You are not fearful or worried at all.
She used narcotics as a means of numbing her worries. Thelength of the drug-induced escapes decreased, but she claimed that "I keptchasing them." "The feelings I am experiencing right now are quitesimilar to [those escapes], but I am not chasing them. My baseline has changedfrom anxiety to contentment, and I deal with my anxiety when it arises, asopposed to seeking an escape.
Sensation of success
What is achievement? Being "the person you alwaysimagined yourself to be, accomplishing goals, being proud of yourself, andknowing how much you're worth" are all characteristics of success. Thesensation of sobriety is whatever those things are to you.
Success, on the other hand, can be described in terms ofwhat it is not: "It is being able to lay your head down on your pillow atnight and not worry about how you might get caught drinking at work tomorrow,what you did in your blackout, what people think of you, how you are going toget your drugs, disappointing your family, failing out of school, ruining yourmarriage."
Success, in other words, is the blissful absence of everynegative impact a former drug or alcohol use had on one's life.
A sense of fullness and oneness with everyone and everythingaround you, as she put it, is what sobriety is like. Knowing and understandingthat everything is happening for a reason makes you feel less anxious. You arecapable of realizing your value and using it to the larger benefit.
Getting Happy in Sobriety
As one of our graduates put it, "It is hard to definesince it's not something that is readily put into words, but it feels a lotlike you were missing something your whole life and when you got sober whateverwas missing was found." All of a sudden, you feel complete. You're at easewith who you are. You're satisfied. You can spend some time alone withouthaving your mind race nonstop.
With the correct daily support, priorities, and commitments,finding happiness in sobriety is a process that takes time but is completelyattainable. Some aspects of recovery that enhance the positive emotions ofsobriety include having healthy connections, expressing appreciation regularly,discovering your purpose, and living in the present.
What If I Don't Like My Sober Self?
Some have the same question as you. Many people abusealcohol and drugs to numb the feelings of guilt, self-loathing, and evenself-hatred. This is because they don't like who they are. Being without theone thing that makes them feel better about themselves and that they lovethemselves can be terrifying.
Similar to this, lots of people engage in drug and alcoholuse because it makes them feel more likable, intriguing, daring, fun, anddaring. There is a very real concern that they won't like their sober self whenthey remove the item they think makes them more charismatic or confident aroundother people.
If you identify with any of these worries, keep in mind thatrecovery doesn't come quickly, despite your best efforts. Invest some time ingetting to know the sober you. Many people learn to appreciate and respect theperson they are when drugs and alcohol aren't involved within the security andcommunity of sober peers of a reputable recovery program. This is anotherfeel-good part of sobriety: recovery is a little like falling in love withyourself and then learning how to love yourself.
Discover for Yourself How Sobriety Feels
If you haven't experienced sobriety, you can. Just imagine ahealthier future and fall in love with the happier, more fulfilled, successful,and more sociable version of yourself that you may become after you stopdrinking. "The way I feel stone-cold sober, even on my worst days ever,"is the promise of sobriety. Our alumna said, "I would never exchange todrink and feel the effects of a drug again. Anyone sober can have the sameexperience, according to her. The drawback is that you must act, i.e., getsober. We are available around the clock if you need assistance gettingstarted. Anytime, call us.