beauty of sobriety

Living the Beautiful Life of Recovery: Finding True Enjoyment Without Drugs or Alcohol

SoCal Detox
SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox editorial contributors include writers, editors, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals who are trained to create credible and authoritative health information that is accurate, informative, and easy to understand.

The New Year is here, and it’s time to consider some of the more profound aspects of life. Even if it feels a bit cliché, it’s time to do some life-pondering. Setting goals, considering your future … or maybe it’s just wondering how you got here. If you are currently living life in the grips of an addiction, you might even be considering making the one change that will affect everything in your life: getting clean.

If this is you, you are probably also completely torn. In fact, you have likely known for a while that you are throwing your life away. Your relationships are suffering. You live a nearly constant lie. Even your physical health is suffering. You want to quit. And you desperately don’t want to quit. We know. It’s pretty much ubiquitous. People with substance use disorders know it has to end, and at the same time, they don’t want it to end.

Part of the problem is that people feel like if they quit, they will be giving up too much. But the reality is, sobriety is such a beautiful possibility. If only we could see life on the other side, the decision to reach out for addiction help would be so much easier. Though this is not obvious to everyone who is thinking about getting help for their drug or alcohol addiction, sobriety is the beautiful life.

Can Life Be Fun Without Drugs?

This one is a big deal. Most people with a dependence on drugs or alcohol can’t even imagine life without. They believe that if you take away these substances, you take away all enjoyment. Even life’s meaning.

And this is a big deal because it is one of the biggest lies addiction “tells” us.

Fun and Drugs and Alcohol

There is great science that helps us understand what is happening when our brains are being affected by drugs and alcohol. In essence, these substances increase the levels of a naturally-occurring chemical called dopamine. It’s the reward system. And more than simply being the “fun” chemical, this one gets deeper: it is the positive reinforcement neurotransmitter. When you get dopamine, your brain compels you to actively seek out more ways to achieve this sensation. In fact, dopamine can even compel you to want a substance even if you no longer get any pleasure from it.

That can get a bit tedious though. Beyond the science, we need to think this through. If you are addicted to a substance (even if only slightly addicted), you can probably relate. The thought of no longer having a substance in your life, whether it’s illicit (cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.) or legal (alcohol, medical marijuana, pain killers, etc.), sounds horrible. It sounds like sobriety is a life lived denying yourself pleasure. Day after day. Week after week. Having to say “no” to any type of enjoyment. And that sounds like hell. … And it certainly would be.

Again, this is part of the big lie of addiction. Your brain believes that drugs are necessary for fun. The truth is, enjoyment is readily available without any added chemicals. In fact, fun without drugs is how fun was meant to be. Think back to when you were growing up. You were able to have full enjoyment in life without any kind of additional substance. And as far away as that seems right now, that zeal for life without any kind of substance is still possible.

Hollow Joy

Think about what brings you joy in your addiction. Does it fulfill you on the deepest levels? Are there overall wonderful benefits that point to higher meaning and profound truth? Of course not. The enjoyment of drugs and alcohol are cheap and hollow. They bring with them regret, sickness, and destruction. So again, without needing science to help us understand this … Do you really think this is how fun is supposed to be?

Fun and pleasure is still going to be here when you are free from drugs or alcohol. In fact, it will be how it was meant to be. Really, if this wasn’t the case, no one would be able to endure recovery. Enjoyment is as essential to existence as food and water.

And there is a full community of others who have walked this path before you. They have found that recovery is beautiful. That the life available is better than what you can imagine right now. So yes. It does take a little faith. But it’s a step of faith that could save your life. And offer you one beyond imagination.

This is day one. Are you willing to take the step?

Orange County, California, Drug and Alcohol Detox

If you are finally willing reach out, make sure you take the right first step. Addiction treatment can be a confusing world, and there are plenty of great options for you to choose. But there are also some not-so-great ones. This is why when you choose SoCal Detox, in San Clemente, CA, you get more than just a high-quality, professionally monitored detox. You also get close, individualized guidance on what kind of next-step recovery options are going to be best for you. If you think you might be ready for your “day one,” please call us today: 888-590-0777.

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