When you made the decision to get sober, drinking and drugging were probably causing major problems in your life. You knew that you couldn’t go on doing what you were doing indefinitely. On some level, you knew you were causing deep pain to the people you love, but for a while alcohol and/or drugs were the most important things in your life. By making the choice to get sober, you are definitely on the right track to a better future. But even though there is hope that things in your life will get better as you get better, it’s also possible that there are some things that can’t be repaired even though you are sober now.
Letting Go of Destroyed Relationships
Relationships are often badly damaged by addiction. While you were using drugs or alcohol, your loved ones were repeatedly disappointed. You may have caused irreparable financial problems. You may have said or done things under the influence of substances that your loved ones are unable to forgive. You may find that your loved ones simply don’t trust you anymore. You may feel uncomfortable in sobriety because family or friends continually bring up mistakes you made in the past. Some may tell you that they aren’t going to be able to forgive you or trust you to stay sober. In the end you can’t choose to get sober for anyone else. You can’t recover just to save a marriage, for example. In spite of your best efforts, a loved one may choose to end the relationship. Although this may be extremely painful to you, it’s important that you not go back to drinking and drugging. It’s also important that you not try to hang onto relationships that have been damaged beyond repair.
Impact of Legal Problems
You may have gotten into some serious legal trouble because of your addiction. You may have participated in reckless or violent behavior and suffered the consequences. You may have stolen money or possessions from loved ones or from strangers. You may have lost your driver’s license, or you may have a criminal record. If the bad choices you made while under the influence led to arrest or other legal problems, these problems may not go away just because you are sober. The bottom line is you have to face the consequences of your actions and do your best not to repeat the behavior.
Chronic Health Problems
Alcoholism and drug addiction can lead to major health problems. Heavy drinking can lead to problems with your liver, throat or digestive system. Smoking chemicals can lead to long-term lung disease. If you used intravenous drugs and shared needles, you may have contracted a virus that won’t go away just because you are sober. Many health problems will improve dramatically once you make the decision to stop abusing your body, but there are some that will not. If you are suffering from a long-term illness caused by your addiction, remember that going back to drinking and drugging will definitely not make your prognosis any better. Remaining committed to sobriety is the best way to give yourself a chance for at least some improvement of your health problems or at least slowing down any progression of long-term illness.
It’s painful to go through the turmoil of difficult losses, particularly when you know they might not have happened if you hadn’t had a problem with alcoholism or addiction. There’s nothing to be gained from looking over your shoulder or dwelling on regrets for things that can’t be changed. You can’t undo the past. You can only strive to make a better future. The way to healing is to live in today and to approach your life one day at a time. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, and the mistakes you made in the past have helped to make you who you are. Although there may be things that can’t be fixed, sobriety offers you an opportunity for a brand new beginning and a brand new life. Life will never be perfect, but it’s a much better life than you would have had if you hadn’t gotten sober.