The prospect of leaving drugs, alcohol, and other addictive behaviors behind is usually met with two sullen questions: “How?” and “Why?” Answering ‘how’ is part of an ongoing learning process, with new lessons discovered daily. “Why” is the journey.
5 Ways Your Life is Going to Change in Recovery
You’re going to stop obsessing over drugs and alcohol
Part of the neuroscience of addiction is the brain’s obsession with obtaining and using drugs and alcohol. Any substance or behavior that produces pleasurable sensations of euphoria becomes an object of fixation. It will take time, and obsessive thinking might be a challenge to work through for years to come. You will be relieved of the obsession to drink and use. There will come a day when you wake up and find that you no longer feel the need to ‘have’ to use.
You’re going to learn to be present
By their very nature, drugs and alcohol remove us from the present moment. Like a haze over our minds, we’re somewhere other than here, all the time. Just removing drugs and alcohol from the picture won’t be enough. You’ll be immersed into the time continuum again, forced to reckon with anxiety of the future and regrets of the past. Day by day, you’ll learn how to sit comfortably in the here and now.
You’re going to feel real happiness (real happiness!)
Many people in recovery report stories of noticing things they had never noticed before, like the warmth of the sun, the sound of the ocean, or the blueness of the sky. For so long your senses were inundated and directed by outside substances. Recovery allows your body to think and feel for itself through authentic emotion. Like reading words in a dictionary, happiness is going to make sense to you.
You’re going to experience freedom like you’ve never known
We are controlled by our addictions when they are at their worst. We realize more and more how dependent our lives were on our substances of choice. Every day decisions will become exercises in freedom. You’ll have ability beyond recall.
You’re going to change in ways you didn’t think were possible
Layer after layer of who you are will be revealed. Parts of yourself that you didn’t know could be seen will be addressed, loved, and healed. Anger will be soothed, trauma will be consoled, and fear will be met by faith. There are miracles to come.