The Many Benefits of Getting Sober
Even if you gave me 100 notebooks and all the time in the world, I wouldn’t be able to write the many ways my life has improved as a result of getting sober. I don’t think any of us could.
Part of this is because of all the blessings I’ve received in sobriety. More importantly, though, sobriety’s given me something that’s hard to talk about. It’s given me my soul back.
Looks are Deceiving
Long before I picked up a drink or drug, my life was out of control. I can remember being in second grade and refusing to move my desk. I sat in the back and couldn’t deal with moving to the front of the room. Then people would be sitting behind me!
That’s just one example, but trust me when I say that I was messed up way before drugs entered the equation. I made sure everything on the outside looked good, though. I thought if other people liked me, my life would be okay.
So, from middle school on, my life looked great. I had a ton of friends. I got good grades. I played sports. I always had the hottest girl on my arm. I volunteered. Everything was awesome.
Except for the fact that, on the inside, I was dying. I was always a nervous wreck. I was anxious, depressed, scared, and arrogant – all at once. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but I managed to pull it off. I felt like someone was going to find out I was a fraud, that I didn’t deserve my friends or girlfriends.
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Drugs Were My Solution…Until They Weren’t
I was a nervous, depressed wreck. Then I got high. It wasn’t any kind of instant fix, but smoking weed did relax me. It took my mind off of everything I thought was wrong with me.
So I smoked as much as I could. Then I took as many pills as I could. Then I did as much dope as I could. All those things worked…until they didn’t. I’ve said again and again, drugs worked for me. They offered me a solution to all the crap in life. Of course, over time, they became less of a solution and more of a problem.
Once that happened, once drugs stopped working, I didn’t know what to do. I was still that scared little kid, but now I also had an addiction to worry about. I was still depressed, nervous, and scared of life. I was also strung out on heroin.
The Blessings of Sobriety
With no options left, I got sober. The blessings and benefits started coming almost immediately.
I asked a God of my own understanding to help me. I humbly asked him to remove the obsession to drink and use drugs. The obsession was lifted shortly after I said that prayer.
I stopped being nervous all the time. My life started to seem worth living, rather than some sort of hellish endurance test. I also started to make friends, real friends. I started to meet men who wanted nothing more than to see me recover. They helped me and I helped them. Together, we got better.
I got back into school. A few years later, I graduated with a B.A. I got a job and held it. I saved money. I got a new car. In short, material possessions came my way. Still, those were a distant second to how I felt inside.
See, for the first time in my life, I felt like I had a soul. I wasn’t putting up a façade. I was able to be myself around others. I was able to share honestly about my problems, fears, and triumphs. I was able to be a man, a real man, for the first time.
That’s the biggest blessing sobriety has given me – the ability to look the world in the eye. Through getting sober, through getting into contact with a God personal to me, I was given the gift of life. In turn, I help new men get sober.
To go from a shell of a human being to a man of integrity, well, all I can say is – what a life.