Every September is National Recovery Month, a time to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders as well as celebrate the people who are in recovery. The recovery process is not an easy journey but it’s one that teaches you about yourself and how to be the best person you can be.
If you or someone you care about is in recovery, don’t forget to celebrate this month! Sometimes we forget to do this because we are so busy working on our recoveries, but it’s important to take a break and give yourself a pat on the back once in a while!
Below are 10 reasons to embrace recovery and remind yourself why you are putting in the hard work today and every day.
Look and Feel Better
Quitting drugs and alcohol helps you feel better on a mental, emotional, spiritual and physical level. During detox, you remove harmful toxins from your body while nourishing it with essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. The more you take care of yourself, the easier it is to eat clean foods, exercise daily and keep up with personal hygiene.
What you see on the outside is enough to keep you motivated, but you’ll be amazed at what’s happening inside your body. Your organs are repairing themselves. Your brain is healing and able to think more clearly. You’re also lowering your risk for digestive problems, heart disease, liver disease, brain damage, a weakened immune system and more.
Bottom line: Quitting drugs and alcohol adds valuable years onto your life!
Establish Healthy Boundaries
As you go through a treatment program, you’ll learn a lot of things, including how to set and follow through with boundaries. Unfortunately, addicts and their families often struggle with boundaries and end up with a lot of problems because of it. Maintaining healthy boundaries will make everyone in the family happier and more confident in their roles.
Gain Confidence and Self Love
Once you start feeling like yourself again, it’s easier to recognize and value your strengths. Sadly, addiction steals this from its victims. You probably had low points where you felt like you didn’t deserve much of anything. Now that you are clean, you are hopefully seeing your value and worth in this world.
As you continue your journey through counseling and the 12 steps, you’ll repair relationships, forgive yourself and others and gain more financial security. This will help you build your self-confidence and teach you to love yourself more.
Build New Habits and Practices
Most people who struggle with addiction have a hard time with discipline and self-care. As you work on your recovery, you’ll start new healthy habits that support your new life. You can start with small goals, and as you accomplish them, you can work toward larger goals. One of the best places to start is with good self-care.
Make New Friends
When you spend all your time with other drug and alcohol addicts, it’s hard to see a way out of these relationships. These are your friends and you don’t want to lose them. But as you recover from your addiction, you will see that you have to put distance between you and those friends because they can put you at risk for relapse.
The good news is that you don’t have to go out looking for new friends on your own. You will meet people in treatment, in your 12-step groups and more. You can also re-establish connections with people who you stopped hanging out with because of your addiction. Building new relationships is one of the best parts of recovery.
Dig Into Underlying Issues
There are many reasons why people get addicted to drugs, but it’s important for you to have insight as to why you started going down this path. Do you use drugs and alcohol to deal with stress? Have you experienced past trauma? Do you feel that substances relax you in social settings?
As you peel back the layers, you can better understand what’s behind your drug and alcohol habits. This makes it easier to deal with your problems in healthy ways. For example, if you’ve gone through trauma, there are therapies that will help you work through your problems so that you no longer need drugs and alcohol to cope.
Avoid Legal Troubles
No matter how you view addiction, it eventually leads to legal problems. The more you use, the more likely you are to be arrested or fined. Aside from drinking and driving, substance abuse can lead to the following legal problems:
- Domestic violence
- Criminal offenses to obtain drugs
- Child custody
- Stealing from others
Improve Mental Health
Roughly half of people who struggle with addiction also deal with mental illness. When you seek treatment, you can work on both your mental health disorder and your substance use disorder. With the right treatment, it will be easier to recover from your addiction, as you won’t need drugs and alcohol to find relief.
Common mental health disorders that often lead to addiction are:
- Mood disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
Discover Enjoyable Hobbies
Addiction has a way of stealing all of your hobbies and replacing them with drug and alcohol abuse. However, it gets tiring of always seeking out your substance, getting high and then crashing. With the right treatment, you can discover new hobbies that bring you enjoyment and happiness.
During your time in therapy, you’ll probably start off with hobbies that relax the mind and body such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, journaling and exercise. Over time, you’ll reconnect with yourself and rediscover the passions you used to have – volunteering, sports, arts and crafts and more.
Be Present in Your Everyday Life
Recovery doesn’t just help you stay clean. It teaches you who you are, what you are here for and how to be present in your everyday life. Too often, people dwell on the past or worry about the future, but all this does is take away the joy of living in the present. Rather than focusing on your next high or worrying about running out of your substance, you can truly enjoy what’s in front of you.
Start Your Recovery Journey Today
Recovery is a journey – there’s no question about that! But it’s worth every ounce you put into it. If you’re ready to start your recovery or help a loved one start theirs, contact Acceptance Recovery Center today. We have a wide range of programs that will help you get clean and sober, work through unresolved trauma and learn to live life to the fullest.