Life’s trials have a way of opening up your eyes and changing the way you view the world- for better or for worse. For people who have faced addiction and come out on the other end sober and clear minded, sobriety comes with a brand new perspective on life and the world. Here are subtle ways people in recovery view the world differently.
You recognize each other. While it’s true that you cannot judge a book by its cover, kindred spirits tend to find each other. There’s a solidarity among people in recovery. Finding others who travel this journey as well is refreshing and reminds us that we are not alone.
You’re hesitant to open up to new people. There’s a lot of judgement when it comes to addiction and recovery. It’s easy to close up and be guarded against people when you anticipate the stigmas and false judgments, but you have the unique opportunity to help change others’ perspectives on addiction. Join other people in recovery by using your story and your experience to help change the world.
Flavors and scents are different. This one will seem odd to people who have never experienced substance abuse and addiction, but being in recovery changes a lot. Biochemical changes caused by both substance abuse and recovery affect our sense of scent and taste; sobriety makes foods taste better and your favorite scents smell that much better. It’s something you only understand once you’ve experienced it.
The small things feel more significant. Overcoming addiction is a lifelong journey that makes you appreciative of each step along the way. In a world obsessed with instant gratification, being able to slow down and absorb what life has to offer is a gift.
You’re a more grateful person. Sobriety is a brand new chance to get life right- a chance thousands don’t get. Being grateful for that and all the things that come along with this journey opens your eyes to the wonderful things you never recognized before. Simply being able to open your eyes at the beginning of the day and close them again at the end.
You’re more understanding of others’ struggles. Sometimes empathy is born from experience. People in recovery know just how important connection and cooperation is to healing as a community. You don’t have to be in the same exact situation to be understanding and supportive of others as they fight their own battles. The world needs more empathy.
You know what real dedication means. At it’s core, recovery is a dedication to leading a sober lifestyle. It means waking up each day and making the decision to refrain from illicit substances. Days eventually becomes months and then years, but each step of the journey begins with dedication.
You’re more open to what life has to offer. Once you have the tools you need to maintain your sobriety long-term, you recognize that the only limits you have for your future are the ones you place upon yourself. Through sobriety you are more likely to take advantage of opportunities that bring you closer to your goals.
Loyalty has a new meaning. Having people who stick by you through the hard and vulnerable moments is so instrumental to success in sober living. Unfortunately not everyone has such a support system, so recognizing the loyalty of you family members and loved ones or even people you meet along your journey is important. People in recovery know there’s no point in wasting your life with people who don’t have your best interest at heart.
You’re more in tune with your mental health. Maintaining sobriety is all all about protecting your mental health. Being aware of potential triggers for urges such as depressed mood, anxiety, and other changes in your mental health helps to guard against relapse. It’s also useful for helping others cope with their own mental health troubles. People in recovery learn to not only survive, but to thrive.
You’re better equip to deal with life. Most people don’t recognize their own strengths until they have to- through trials and tribulations. We learn to cope with life as we experience it, which has lead some of us to addiction and substance abuse. However, through rehab and counseling we can gain the skills to better handle the situations life presents us. We learn to work through conflicts, handle stress, and other tools for staying sober. It’s an advantage the average person does not have.
You know how to have fun anywhere. One of the better tools gained in sobriety is the ability to enjoy life without having to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. People in recovery can teach others a thing or two about what real fun is- about enjoying life to the fullest. Going on adventures and doing out of the ordinary activities spices up life in a way illicit substances never can.