How Living a Sober Lifestyle can Help You Have a Better Summer
Hangovers and heatwaves are an awful combination; take it from me; I’ve been there. And I can tell you one thing for sure, I am never going back! As someone who struggled with alcoholism in the past, I can easily list off the days I wasted away due to my addiction and the long list of regrets that ensued from my drinking. When I was drinking all the time, I thought that a life without alcohol would be boring. I believed this so wholeheartedly that I only hung out with people who drank excessively as often as I did. Little did I know that my drinking didn’t add anything to my life. It was actually causing me to miss out on so many things that life had to offer.
I once heard it said that addiction is giving up everything to have one thing, while recovery is giving up one thing so that you can have everything. When it comes to the losses and gains that result in active addiction and recovery, this statement hits the nail on the head. It took me some time to figure out that life was actually a whole lot more enjoyable when I wasn’t constantly riding the roller coaster of drunkenness, hangovers, and cravings. So if you’re on the fence about whether or not a life of sobriety is for you, please take into consideration the ways I have learned that my sobriety has helped me have a more enjoyable summer season.
1. Did I mention hangovers and heatwaves don’t mix well?
One of the worst things about drinking alcohol is the hangover that follows. Some people can drink in moderation and not get hangovers; I was never one of those people. My inability to drink in moderation was the main reason I needed to go to rehab and get sober. I found that my hangovers were worse in the middle of the summer on an extra hot day. Living a life of sobriety ensures you never have to experience this awful combination ever again.
2. Having more money to spend on activities.
Having an addiction is expensive. It takes a lot of money to maintain a drinking problem. After spending most of my money on alcohol, paying off court fines from my DUI, and shelling out money to cover the interlock on my car, I hardly had any money left over. Once I sobered up, paid off my court fines, and got the interlock off of my car, I ended up having a whole lot of extra money to do things that were fun and didn’t ruin my life.
3. More energy for adventures.
Who has the time or energy to explore the world while maintaining an addiction? There may be some people out there who can do it for a while, but I was certainly not one of those people. I have much more energy now that I’m not drinking because my body isn’t constantly being poisoned by toxic substances. It’s a whole new world.
4. Less embarrassment and regret.
The morning after a drinking bender was always the worst for me. I had the not-so-joyful experience of hearing about all of the awful things I had said and done the night before that I couldn’t clearly remember. Thankfully I haven’t had to experience this since getting sober. It’s one of my favorite reasons for not drinking anymore; nobody likes a blackout.
5. Increased opportunities for new experiences.
When living a life of addiction, a person will often lie to themselves and think they are having fun when, in all reality, they are living their life on repeat. Wake up, find money to drink or get high, get drugs or alcohol, get drunk or high, pass out. Repeat. It gets old pretty quick, but the tricky part is that you get hooked into living this way, and even though it’s a difficult existence, it’s hard to stop. Breaking free from the cycle of addiction allows someone to finally start living their lives and experience new things.
6. More money to go out to eat.
In my opinion, another wonderful thing about being sober is the opportunity to go out to eat more often. I love good food. When I was drinking, I never had the cash to go out and get a nice meal; now that I’m sober, I have the extra money to spend on things I wouldn’t have before. And I’m on a mission to try out all the fancy restaurants I can because why the heck not.
7. A healthier lifestyle often translates to a happier life.
Having gone from living a super unhealthy lifestyle to living a much healthier one, I must admit my overall quality of life has vastly improved. I have noticed a direct correlation between my health and well-being and the overall quality of my life. By taking better care of myself, I can experience all that life has to offer.
8. The ability to be truly present in the moment.
Drinking and drugs take us out of the present moment and inhibit us from being true to the people we love most. It’s hard to pay attention to your loved ones while under the influence or trying to figure out how to get that next high. The ability to be genuinely present with family and friends and experience all the beauty that life had to offer is one of the most significant aspects of living a sober life.
9. A better capability to form meaningful relationships.
When a person is better able to connect with the people in their life, they are able to form meaningful relationships. Unfortunately, relationships based on the common foundation of addiction usually aren’t very reliable, and one spends a lot of time alone. When a person gets sober and rebuilds their trust and integrity, they can form relationships that enhance their life instead of taking away from it. One of the greatest joys of life is the ability to form bonds and friendships with other people. As human beings, we need to have good connections with others instead of always being alone.
10. Because sobriety is incredible!
Ok, so I’ll admit that I am a little biased but hey, living a life of sobriety is pretty awesome. It may not be easy in the beginning stages, and getting sober can be a challenge, but it is well worth the effort it takes to live a life of recovery. Sometimes we need a little help to get to that point, and there is nothing wrong with that; the important thing is that we make an effort. People are dying from addiction every day, which is truly a tragedy. Fortunately, many people are also learning to live their life to the fullest by taking the steps needed to overcome their addiction and experience all that life has to offer.
If you’re still unsure whether or not sobriety is for you, I’d highly recommend at least giving it a shot and seeing where it takes you. Who knows, that one decision could be the start of a completely new life you may have missed out on otherwise!