Some go into recovery with the mindset that it primarily involves negative action—that is, it involves learning to say ‘no’ as opposed to letting something new into your life. The truth is, however, that in saying ‘no’ to addiction, you are saying ‘yes’ to a great many positive things that could become a part of your life. Recovery truly should be seen as a season of opportunity rather than as a time of ‘no’. Here are some of the many opportunities that saying ‘yes’ to recovery can bring into your life.
An opportunity to learn more about yourself
Substance abuse has an effect on not only your physical health but also on your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It can alter your mood and change who you are around others. Once you become sober and no longer have a substance dictating how you feel, you can better learn about who you are and what is unique about your personality.
An opportunity to try new hobbies
Once addiction is no longer monopolizing your time, you will have time to explore new hobbies and skills that are of interest of you. If in the past you have found yourself wishing you had time to learn a new language, read a certain book, study a musical instrument, or hone a talent in a new discipline, early recovery is the time to start. During the early stages of recovery, you’ll suddenly find yourself with more time on your hands, and working early on to instill new habits of learning and leisure with this spare time will prove critical for keeping you on track with your sobriety.
An opportunity to heal broken relationships
Addiction can also have a damaging effect on your relationships—even the most treasured relationships you have with those you love. Once obtaining and using an addictive substance is no longer the top priority in your life, you can begin to put your own health and your relationships with others in the proper places of priority. Repairing relationships that were damaged as a result of addiction must be approached with caution, of course, so be sure to seize this opportunity that sobriety offers only when you are ready to start looking outward towards others again.
An opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle
Substance abuse takes a tremendous toll on your physical health, with side effects such as damage to vital organs, sleep deprivation, an impaired immune system, increased blood pressure, and increased chances for developing a terminal illness. It impairs your mental health in a wide variety of ways as well. Gaining sobriety means that you now have the opportunity to develop a new, healthier lifestyle from scratch. You can begin to say ‘yes’ to healthy eating and regular exercise, both of which will help you to live in ways that addiction did not.