In today’s article, curated from Sober Nation, the author cleverly positions ten gifts of recovery in a “Be careful because these wonderful things will probably happen to you” kind of way. We definitely want all these wonderful things for ourselves, for our readers, and for everyone on the spiritual journey of sobriety. You may read the original post here.
In gratitude, harmony, and support,
10 Reasons Not to Be Sober
By Gara Love
You Will Learn a Lot, the Hard Way
When I was drinking, there was no learning anything. There was only make a mistake and drink––or drink, make a mistake and drink some more. But today, when I make a mistake I learn from it. There is no escaping or looking away. Additionally, I surround myself with people in sobriety who support me in looking at my mistakes right in the face and learning from them, because this is what they had to do, too.
You Will Get Really Close to People
You will build relationships in a way you never have before, based on common interests rather than using. You will know intimacy in a new way. You will want to show up for these people as they show up for you. You will also be disappointed now and then, by yourself and others, for no one is perfect. You will want to be a good friend because you give a sh–. You will care about these people, and sometimes, caring is scary. Also, you may even find yourself surrounded by people who will call you out on your bullsh– and make relying on old, unhealthy ways difficult.
You Will Get in Touch With Your Feelings
I laugh at this one and if you could see my face, you’d probably laugh, too. I cringe a little bit because old habits die hard. I used to think my feelings would kill me and I avoided them like the plague. I would numb them and suppress them. This is no longer the case. Today, I know that my feelings guide me. They actually have an evolutionary purpose and very real function. For instance, guilt shows me when I have violated my moral compass and taps me on the shoulder, inspiring me to make amends and any necessary changes. Similarly, joy shows me that something is awesome and encourages me to continue seeking more of it.
You Will Get in Touch With Your Conscience
Today, when I f— up, I feel it. When I am not my best self, I feel it. When I show up and do my best, I feel it. It’s like there is some compass within me guiding me to the person I am meant to be. This is bittersweet, right?
You Will Rediscover Who You Are
You will rediscover your passions, purpose, and what sets your soul on fire. You will also get the opportunity to recreate yourself on this journey. You will get to rediscover your values, priorities, and how to live a life with them at the forefront. You will rediscover what you find fun and interesting.
You Will Remember Your Experiences
You will not only remember your experiences, but you will be fully present for them. You will feel the music caress your body at that concert. You will feel the wind and the sun on your skin at the beach. You will feel the laughter in your belly, like you have never felt before. And you will remember what it is like to be fully alive. You may even find yourself willing to accept all the struggles, ugliness, and pain that come with this life because of moments like these.
You Will Realize How Strong You Are
You will realize the power in surrender, in acceptance, and maybe even reliance on a power greater than yourself. You will realize that you are capable. That you are a warrior and survivor, rather than a victim. That you can show up, even when you are scared sh–less, in pain, and don’t want to, and still kill the game. You will realize that there are absolutely no excuses and therefore, excuses will no longer be an acceptable option for you.
You May Become Spiritual
Every single day that I am sober is proof of a miracle and reminds me that there is something much larger than myself out there. Because I did not do this. My thinking got me in much worse places than the rooms of Alcoholic’s Anonymous, which I will not elaborate on because this is on the internet, so don’t even think about it. I cannot deny that there is a power greater than myself, for I am sober, period. When I live a spiritual life, I feel more connected to all of life––to myself, to the people I surround myself with, to each moment. I feel more full. I am able to notice things I have never noticed before, like the colors in the sky and how the rain makes this world that much greener. This makes it more difficult to be ungrateful, even when sh– sucks. Oh, and you will start to get out of your own way and notice that life happens for you, not to you.
Things Will Change
When I got sober, I held onto my old life like it was the only life I knew, because it was. But there’s that truthful cliché, “Nothing changes if nothing changes,” and I look back in awe. Because it’s so true and I didn’t even realize that all I needed to do was show up, one day at a time, and be willing to do what I had to do to not pick up a drink that day and before I knew it, everything in my life had changed. Over time I grew into a woman that I love and am proud to be.
You’ll Have a Lot to Lose
One of the things about living clean and sober, one day at a time, is that a lot of good things will happen (and a lot of uncomfortable sh–, too). You will get a lot of stuff back, materialistically and that which cannot be measured, such as relationships and joy and strength and peace. You will probably not want to lose the life you build while sober. But the good news is that you don’t have to.