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Why I Chose to Get Sober

Why I Chose to Get Sober

There was a time in my life where alcohol and drugs consumed me. I cared about chasing the next buzz day in and day out. I wanted to disconnect from reality and lived in a constant state of fear—fear of not getting what I wanted or losing what I already had.

This took me out of being present in my life, showing up in my life, being the daughter, sister, and friend I was put here to be. My addictions put up a wall that separated me from the rest of the world.

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I lived with this tunnel vision keeping my world quite small. This emotional and physical void within me kept me alone and isolated. Alcohol and drugs did the trick for some time. Then they stopped working.

So at the age of 25, I made the decision to get sober.

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Here are 5 reasons I chose to get sober. I hope it offers some advice and insight for anyone who is struggling with addiction or knows someone who is.

1. I value the present.

Holding onto pain from the past or anxiety about the future is what my addictions thrived in. The present seemed scary. I didn’t think I could handle reality. I didn’t think I was strong enough or worthy enough. That is directly related to the self-sabotaging and destructive nature of addiction. Presence is possible by completely surrendering to what is and letting go of the destructive coping mechanisms that may be holding you back.

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2. I want to give and receive love.

My addictions put up an internal brick wall and I could not tap into the light and love within. I was in constant pain and felt terminally unique and alone in the world. I did not feel worthy of love from others so I pushed them away. I ended relationships left and right and didn’t allow people into my life. Now I see that I have the ability to give love and it feels good! It connects me with a greater purpose and gives me a sense of connection and belonging.

3. I want to show up for others.

I didn’t understand what this meant for a long time. I lived in my own world that just revolved around me. It was all about what I could get from others. Now, I get to truly be there and be present with others. Maybe it’s helping a friend move or being at a birthday dinner. Either way, these are acts of service and bring us closer to others.

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4. I want to embrace honesty and openness.

Addiction fostered a double life for me. From the outside, it looked like everything was okay; yet inside, I was in pain and suffering. I didn’t want to show this to anyone else. I was scared and in a constant state of fear. I don’t have to do that anymore. I can open up to another person, express myself, and communicate. It’s not always easy but it feels good.

5. I couldn’t balance the chaos anymore.

The lies and manipulation that consumed my days were exhausting. I was so scared to commit to anyone or anything, so I lived in this constant state of shame and guilt. The chaos perpetuated this cycle and left me feeling drained. By living authentically, I can put my true self out to the world. This is energizing and stimulating.

No matter what you are going through, remember that you are not alone. You have an infinite amount of strength, wisdom, love, and light inside you. Don’t let the power you harness within be taken away from another person, place, or thing.

Featured photo credit: picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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