Beginning on the road to recovery is never an easy process. Thankfully there are a list of agencies, support groups and not-for-profits (such as this one) that are happy to help you along this journey!
The best thing you can do is take things one day at a time and remember that sober living has its benefits!
1: You’ll feel better about yourself
There’s nothing like kicking a habit that you know is killing you. You made a decision to improve yourself and you’re sticking with it. Every day that you say no to your old ways and continue to rebuild your new life is a day you should be proud of yourself. It takes determination. This new sense of accomplishment is well earned!
2: Your relationships will improve
Loved ones often bear the weight of a person’s addiction, feeling helpless or angry as they watch the addict continue to sink. Once the recovery process begins though, so can the healing process in these relationships. Children seem to benefit the most once a parent chooses a sober lifestyle. Though it might take some time to rebuild damaged relationships with family members and friends, you’ll often find it is well worth the effort.
3: You’ll be healthier (and might even lose weight)
It’s hard to imagine sometime the amount of damage you can do to your body through long term drug and alcohol abuse. Luckily, our bodies are capable of healing themselves with the proper care. You’ll start to notice an improvement in your skin. You’ll start sleeping better, which means you’ll have more energy. Your memory will improve. And yes, once you cut out all those empty calories from your diet (they call it a beer belly for a reason) you may find yourself shedding some extra pounds!
4: You’ll have more money in your pocket
Drug and alcohol habits can be very expensive. Once you stop spending money on the things that were killing you, you’ll find you might have a little extra cash to do the things that make life fun! Dinner out is a lot cheaper when you’re not buying several glasses of wine. It’s much easier to save money when you’re not handing it over to your dealer every week. You can use all that extra cash to enjoy doing the things you love (sushi anyone?)
5: You’ll feel smarter
Seriously. Every time you take a drink or snort a powder or inject a drug, you damage brain cells. Now that you’re clear-headed, you’ll find it a lot easier to recall information, remember someone’s name, or even find your keys! You’ll find that people have a great deal of resect for someone that is going through the recovery process as well. Seems like sobriety is a pretty smart idea!
There’s no doubt that any physical activity is generally good for you; but cycling carries a long list of benefits that are sure to leave you feeling great.
Experts say that regularly getting on a bike can help:
- Improve cardiovascular fitness.
- Improve mobility.
- Build muscle strength and increase flexibility.
- Reduce stress.
- Make bones stronger.
- Burn fat.
- Improve your posture and coordination.
- Manage or even prevent certain diseases.
- Reduce anxiety and depression.
You only have to ride your bike for about two to four hours a week to see the benefits. It’s a great option for almost anyone too, because:
- Cycling is considered a low impact exercise; causing fewer injuries than most other types of exercise.
- It will give you good workout. That’s because you use all of you major muscle groups when you pedal.
- It’s easy! Cycling doesn’t really require a high level of skill. Most people are able to learn how to ride one, and once you do, well, you know the old saying.
- It will build your strength and stamina. No more getting winded going up the stairs!
- You can make it as intense as you want. It’s easy to start off slow and build intensity, eventually becoming a demanding workout.
- It’s fun! Seriously, we’re not pulling your leg. It’s quite a thrill to coast down hills and riding along with your friends. Plus it’ easy to do almost anywhere. All you need is access to a safe road. And studies show that there a ton of health benefits that come with having a good time.
Moving past our addictions is one of the most difficult thing some of us will ever accomplish. Overcoming something that was such a huge part of our lives is never easy, but with strength, dedication and support, we can find a way to get through it; one day at a time.
Here are three things to remember as you begin this process.
1) There’s a reason you’re doing this.
Usually there is something that pushes us to give up drugs or alcohol. Maybe we got into some sort of legal trouble. Maybe a loved one had enough and walked out. Maybe we have kids who are depending on us to sober up.
Whatever the reason, there was something that drove you to quit. Remember that reason whenever you’re feeling tempted. Let it motivate you to make a better choices, and keep moving forward towards a healthier, happier life.
2) You’re going to feel better.
The symptoms of withdrawal can be devastating. Once the physical ones subside, we’re then faced with the mental withdrawal symptoms like depression or anxiety, the boredom, and the uncertainty about what to do with ourselves now that we’re not drunk or high. It’s very common for people in recovery to suffer from nightmares too.
But these symptoms can subside or be treated with professional help. The support of family, friends, and organized groups can also really help you through this process. If you stay dedicated to your recovery process, you will feel better in time.
3) You’re stronger than you know.
The hardest step is admitting you have a problem in the first place. You can’t do anything about it until then. Now that you know what’s holding you back, you can move forward. Use the tools in your arsenal, and remind yourself that you’ve already taken the hardest step; you’ve admitted you wanted to be free of your addiction and live a sober life.
Don’t give up on yourself. You’re worth it, and you knew that the moment you decided to quit letting your addictions rule your life.