15 Benefits of Staying Sober

By Cassidy Webb
Originally published on New Directions

If you are new to this whole sobriety thing and are struggling with the idea of never drinking or drugging again – that’s okay! Coming from a former addict, I totally get it. Everybody has their own journey. However, life really does get better if you stay sober. Here are 15 benefits of staying sober.

1. Your life becomes less chaotic

You don’t have to live in constant turmoil anymore because you’re not worried about getting money, getting drugs or alcohol, and then lying or manipulating to cover up your behaviors. You finally get a chance to sit still and relax.

2. You sleep better

Alcohol abuse is disruptive to sleeping patterns because it suppresses sleep, not permitting a restorative, good night’s rest. Though you may have trouble falling asleep when you first get sober, you will soon sleep peacefully through the night and feel more rested the next day.

3. You feel healthier

Substance abuse has profound effects on the body. In sobriety, you aren’t putting toxic chemicals in your body, so you will actually have more energy and feel more alert and focused! Not to mention the fact that your internal organs get to take a break from working overtime to process the drugs and alcohol.

4. You look better

Do you have sunken in cheeks, red patches, or bad acne? Good news – in sobriety, your skin actually improves! Without nasty, toxic chemicals in your body, your complexion will improve tremendously and you will gain weight back to your face, making you look beautiful and healthy again!

5. Your memory improves

We all have nights we don’t remember while in addiction, but shortly after detox, your memory will rapidly begin to improve. No more worrying about what you did last night – your memory will become sharp and as good as new!

6. Your mental health improves

Sleep, diet, and overall health are directly correlated with the status of your mental health. As your lifestyle improves, you will find your emotions more stable and manageable. You will find yourself having less mood swings along with increased happiness.

7. You worry less

When you are sober and doing the right thing, the worry of getting in trouble with others or getting caught by the cops disappears. You’re sober, you have a job, you are being honest with others, you have a roof over your head, you aren’t worried about going into withdrawals – what’s there to worry about anymore?

8. You actually have money

When you aren’t spending every penny earned on drugs or alcohol, you will be surprised how quickly your savings adds up! It is a wonderful feeling not to worry about living paycheck to paycheck and being able to have savings for emergencies.

9. You get to be a part of your family

Regardless of the harms you have done, your family loves you and will forgive you in time. It is a great feeling to be with family on holidays and special occasions without causing them to worry about your drug or alcohol use. They will be able to rely on you and trust you, and since you have money, you can even buy them gifts for their birthdays!

10. You form deep connections with others

Friendships made in sobriety are like no other. These friends understand exactly what you are going through because they have been there too. They will love and support you unconditionally. There is something about friendships in recovery that is magical.

11. You gain long term rewards

Hard work pays off. If you put in the work to be sober and happy, you will be sober and happy. You will be able to go to class and study for school in order to further your education. You will be capable of holding a job, allowing you to move up in your career. You will develop a profound appreciation for people, places, and things.

12. You get to embark on new adventures

You have the ability to try new things, travel to new places, and develop a passion for life after addiction. Since you will no longer rely on substances to survive each day, you will finally have the opportunity to thrive in life. There is nothing holding you back. Go climb that mountain, go snorkeling at a coral reef, go visit a foreign country! What are you waiting for?

13. You grow spiritually

Spiritual growth consists of removing obsolete or negative habits and thoughts from your life. Mindful meditation is a great way to grow spiritually because it relaxes your mind and aids in coping with feelings of anxiety and stress. It is a free, easy to do activity that promotes healing and spiritual growth by connecting your mind, body, and spirit.

14. You find your purpose in life

There is somebody out there who is hopeless and feels like they cannot stay sober. You may not know it at the time, but your story is the only story they will hear. Your experience, strength and hope, is going to help somebody stay sober. You have the ability to change lives.

15. You learn to love yourself

By staying healthy, having new experiences, building relationships, and helping others, you will begin to truly love yourself. You will treat your body and mind with a gentle respect, as you have been blessed with a new, sober life. For many of us, we have spent too much time hating ourselves. Being able to love who we are, for all of our imperfections, is nothing short of a miraculous gift in sobriety.

Cassidy Webb is a 24 year old avid writer from South Florida. She enjoys hiking, spending time at the beach, and playing with her two nieces. Her passion in life is to help others recover from addiction by sharing her experience, strength and hope.

To download a PDF of the article click here: 15 Benefits of Staying Sober.


7 Responses

  1. Richard K. says:

    I don’t think AA assumes all alcoholics are the same. At least that’s not my experience. The only thing I have in common with other suffering alcoholic’s is that I can’t drink safely. I am mentally and bodily different than the average temperate drinker.

  2. Larry g says:

    Great share friend. Thx. It’s nice on a rare occasion to connect with a similar (not identical) sojourner.

  3. Bullwinkle says:

    We’re basically on the same page, Larry g. I’m usually not on the same page with most addicts or recovered addicts, including some concepts that were written in the text Alcoholics Anonymous re: how they recovered. The so called promises in Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 83 and 84 are mentioned as a similarity to 15 Benefits of Staying Sober. In the context of this similarity, the promises tend to be ideals. If some or all of the so called promises remained true, I wouldn’t be human. Of course the kicker is the last promise, which is purely subjective reality “We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves”.

    I mentioned on a previous post, re: sharing my message of recovery, I attempt to share ONLY in first person singular. YOU, WE and US, etc., is didactic subjective reality, and tends to move in the direction of moral instruction.

    I live in my subjective reality and the closest I can be to objective reality re: my recovery is my story, that’s uniquely mine. I tried for years to be abstinent from alcohol and finally I did it. My brain was rewired due to coming within a nanosecond of losing my life. But, even though I was abstinent from alcohol, I continued to smoke cigarettes until again my brain was rewired, due to becoming blind in one eye for 5 minutes. I finally achieved sobriety and not once in 40 years has the desire to drink or smoke returned. In other words, abstinence isn’t sobriety!

  4. Roger says:

    Here is a PDF of the article Pat: 15 Benefits of Staying Sober.

  5. Pat N. says:

    Thanks, Cassidy. Comprehensive, accurate, TRUE! My two secular home groups read the classic Promises from the Big Book (we don’t use the god parts), because we think they’re true and encouraging. Frankly, I like yours better, and will suggest we use them instead.

  6. Richard K. says:

    I had a period of untreated Alcoholism.

    The benefits of AA are immeasurable. I learned a way of life that keeps on giving!!!

    Like they told me when I came, it’s not about the drinking, it’s about the not drinking. Good for today.

  7. Larry g says:

    I like to say “if you see one person in recovery, you’ve seen one person in recovery”.

    What I mean is we are like snow flakes, no two of us are alike. One of the great mistakes that traditional AA makes is assuming all alcoholics are the same and then trying to standardize a one size fits all approach as the answer. For me and me only, I’m less interested in a standardized set of benefits. What I understand to be true is that generally speaking there are numerous benefits to sobriety that can loosely be categorized as bio psychosocial or biological, psychological, and sociological. If those of us in recovery were polled to list as many benefits to sobriety as we could think of the aggregated list would have thousands of items on it. It’s funny how I feared that a life without booze would be mundane, boring, and torturous. How wrong that fear turned out to be. I so love my sober life!!!!

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