The journey toward recovery from addiction is a personal, explorative, and anxiety-ridden endeavor that requires time and commitment, no matter the cause. During this challenging course of events, many individuals may ask themselves, “Is sobriety worth it?” This internal questioning may grow stronger when someone feels as if they’re helpless, out of options, or overwhelmed when looking for effective treatment solutions. As a result, they may abandon recovery altogether and continue down a dangerous path.
GateHouse Treatment is well aware of how difficult seeking treatment can be. Taking those first steps toward recovery is often the hardest move, and we understand why many people falter in their attempts. Still, avoiding treatment is never advised since sobriety can benefit individuals to live better and more fulfilling lives. Since a large part of seeking treatment is building self-confidence, let’s explore why sobriety is always the right choice and how it can help you improve your life.
Why is Seeking Sobriety So Difficult?
Seeking sobriety can be incredibly difficult due to a combination of factors. Firstly, addiction is a powerful force that can hijack the brain’s reward system, making breaking free from its grip challenging. The physical and psychological dependence on substances can create intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it hard to resist the urge to use again. Additionally, the stigma surrounding addiction and the fear of judgment or social consequences can create barriers to seeking help. Many individuals may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their addiction, leading them to hide their struggles and avoid reaching out for support.
The journey towards sobriety also involves confronting deep-rooted emotional issues and trauma that may have contributed to the development of addiction. This process can be emotionally exhausting and overwhelming, as individuals may need to face painful memories and address underlying issues they have been trying to numb or avoid with substances. Tied to this notion is the idea that change can be uncomfortable and challenging. Breaking free from familiar patterns and habits requires significant effort, determination, and self-discipline. Given these factors, it’s not uncommon for individuals to experience setbacks or relapses, which can further dampen their motivation to continue on the path to recovery.
Is Sobriety Worth It? Reasons to Pursue Your Journey
Answering “Is sobriety worth it?” comes down to understanding the various health benefits of getting sober on the body and mind. Below are seven of the strongest reasons why someone should always prioritize breaking their addiction when dealing with a substance use disorder (SUD) to any extent.
1. Sobriety Promotes a Clear and Healthy Mind – Chronic substance use takes its toll on brain function. Certain substances interfere with how our brain neurons send, receive, and process signals via neurotransmitters. Drugs like marijuana and heroin activate neurons in a way that mimics our brain’s chemicals, leading to abnormal messages traveling through these pathways. Other substances like cocaine or amphetamines cause our neurons to release large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these chemicals, disrupting our normal communication.
The brain is at its best when functioning nominally without conflicting substances telling it what to do or interfering with its normal operation. By getting sober, you’re again allowing your brain to process as it should, promoting a clear thought process and a decreased chance of long-term consequences.
2. Sobriety Makes You Sleep Better – When your brain fails to function as it should, many of your daily processes are thrown amok, including sleep. When sober, your body can normalize your sleep patterns and provide a smooth rhythm. Quality sleep is so vital for our body and mind, and by getting to bed and waking up at a healthy time, your entire person benefits. You’ll have more energy, less brain fog, more motivation, and feel less stressed or weighed down throughout the day.
3. Sobriety Gives You More Energy – A quality sleep routine can promote higher energy levels throughout the day, but sobriety also provides much-needed energy from other functions. When consumed at night, substances like alcohol raise the body’s epinephrine levels, which increases heart rate and stimulates the body, preventing sleep. During the day, it also naturally makes us feel tired and lethargic, which can severely impact energy levels. Alcohol also dehydrates the body and lessens our water supply which can also lower our energy levels.
4. Sobriety Improves Organ Functions – Between 2011 and 2015, the leading causes of alcohol-related deaths included:
- Liver diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer
- Heart disease, hypertension, and stroke
- Breast cancer
- Oral and upper digestive tract cancers
Alcohol abuse can also cause heart damage, known as cardiomyopathy; this causes the heart to stretch and change shape, which impacts blood flow and presents many dangers to our physical health. Any damage to our organ’s functions presents dangers, so by getting sober, you can reverse these effects and allow your body to heal back to normal levels.
5. Sobriety Benefits the Body Physically – Many individuals with substance use disorders fail to maintain healthy hygiene. They may experience skin issues and fail to maintain daily habits such as showering, brushing their teeth, and washing their hands. These actions accumulate in a negative self-perception, lowering confidence and self-worth. When you achieve sobriety and gain the energy to once again restore these necessary habits, your physical appearance will improve, boosting morale and leading to healthier hygiene in the future.
6. Sobriety Offers Stronger Emotional Connections – Substance use impacts our ability to live a normal social life. Chronic SUDs can sever relationships and family ties and lead to guilt and shame while isolating individuals from those who may have once supported them. Those suffering from a substance use disorder may become selfish, toxic, and untrustworthy, making it hard to maintain valuable relationships. It becomes a burden not just on themselves but on their family and friends who wish for their betterment.
Reaching sobriety can strengthen these connections and allow individuals to maintain healthy relationships once again with those they hold dear. There’s less guilt, fewer secrets, and more trust. You’ll gain respect and not take on the perceived persona of an “addict” or “lazy.”
7. Sobriety Provides a Sense of Purpose and Meaning – Many individuals with substance use disorders struggle to find purpose daily. They may use substances to escape from the mundane or gain temporary fulfillment. When people feel they have no control over themselves or the world around them, they may use drugs as a cop-out where they no longer feel obligated to try and right their wrongs. It gives them a reason to be complacent and avoid beneficial actions.
The tricky cycle of substance abuse is that these people feel there’s no point in achieving sobriety since it’ll lead to more of these feelings of monotony. However, when someone rids themselves of substances, and their body and mind positively change, they may see a new path. Whether exploring a new hobby, establishing goals for the future, working or pursuing education, or doing anything that brings them joy, individuals can have a better mindset when venturing out of their comfort zone and finding contentment in their daily endeavors. Plus, without drugs, individuals save money, which they can use to pursue some of these goals and hobbies.
Start Your Sobriety Journey With GateHouse Treatment
If you’ve once wondered, “Is sobriety worth it?” GateHouse Treatment is here to help. We understand how difficult it can be to overcome addiction and take steps toward a healthier and more fulfilling life. By making that first move or call, you’re already on a path toward a better future.
We offer various treatment programs tailored to your needs while prioritizing a sustained recovery free from relapse or setbacks. Whether you enroll in a partial hospitalization program (PHP), intensive outpatient program (IOP), standard outpatient program (OP), or any of our other comprehensive services, you receive a full line of support with amenities that’ll make getting sober worth it.
Achieving sobriety begins with a simple, confidential call. Contact us for any questions regarding our services or to start healing today. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to ensure a reliable first step toward long-term sobriety.