Before I got sober, I had been drinking so long that I really didn’t know what I was like without alcohol. I didn’t realize the extent of it at the time, but the booze played more of a role in my character than I’d like to admit. I’m a different person now in many ways, and I can tell you with all sincerity that these changes were positive. My sobriety is a great gift.
I used to be the life of the party, and alcohol helped me get there. But before too long, it brought me to a very dark place.
When addiction began taking hold, I went from being a silly drunk to a depressed downer that no one wanted to be around. Even when I wasn’t drunk, I felt like the world was out to get me. I was a complete victim.
After being sober for a few months, I could really see how drastically my perspective had changed. Here are just a few ways sobriety changed my outlook on life.
I stopped being a victim
It’s difficult to say whether this was a byproduct of addiction or the driving force behind it, but my victim mentality was closely tied to alcoholism. When I got sober, I started to see how my choices led me down a very specific path. If I hadn’t made those choices, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Now, I believe that we are all in control over our own lives. We may not be able to control every circumstance, but we can control how we think, feel and act. And that can make a major difference.
I learned to love life and myself
I used to dread getting out of bed in the morning. The thought of drinking later in the day was the only thing that brought even a little joy. I was depressed, and alcohol had a lot more to do with it than I realized.
When I stopped drinking, I had to find new ways to spend my time. Instead of going to the bar, I’d go to the gym. This was extremely difficult at first, but after a while, it was just what I did. Now, it’s what I love.
By taking care of my mind and body, I learned to love myself more than I ever have. When you truly love yourself, it’s a bit easier to stay away from the things you know to be harmful.
My view of relationships improved
When I was an alcoholic, I was a very selfish person. I didn’t even understand true friendships. I only looked at what I could get out of any situation. One time, my good friend was in a bind and needed help moving. I had other plans that involved getting smashed on my couch alone. So, I came up with some lame excuse not to help. This behavior was typical for me at that time.
I’ve always known the dangers of alcohol, but I never knew what it could do to relationships. If you asked me how deadly alcohol could be, I could have rattled off a few statistics that would frighten anyone. But I didn’t realize how deadly alcoholism would be to my relationships. Some have never recovered.
Sobriety can change your perspective in surprising ways because addiction changes your perspective so drastically. Someone who has walked this path has seen life through three lenses: pre-addiction, addiction, and post-addiction. Having been there, I can tell you that post-addiction is the most enlightened of the three.
Editor’s note: You might also want to read https://theselfimprovementblog.com/self-improvement/happiness/life-lessons-learned-overcoming-drug-addiction/
About the Author
Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.