Life as an addict or an alcoholic is often chaotic. It can be violent or unpredictable and relationships frequently end up taking a backseat to whatever substance is being abused. Still, many wonder if they seek treatment, whether life will actually get better once they are sober.
The Science Behind “Better”
A wide variety of variables change when an individual decides to get sober. Yes, they stop drinking alcohol, but they also go through social, emotional and even physical changes.
When the brain is used to receiving alcohol on a regular basis, it changes. Alcohol can activate neurotransmitters like serotonin that can create a false sense of happiness. It also affects the “excitatory” and “inhibitory” neurotransmitters that can play a role in how much energy we have the decisions we make.
Once sober, the brain changes and no longer expects the same feelings anymore. This can be both good and bad. At first, it may seem difficult to feel happy because the reward centers in the brain have shifted. After a certain amount of time, however, the brain can return back to its normal functioning pattern where the individual can then feel more energy than when they were drinking.
Getting sober means the “brain fog” is lifted. Without the haze of alcohol and depression, the brain is free to feel pleasure from activities it once no-longer enjoyed. By staying abstinent, the pathways that linked pleasure with substance abuse are no longer as strong and cravings begin to die down.
How Sobriety Can Benefit You
Sobriety has a profoundly positive impact on relationships. Without alcohol, you may feel more sensitive. Being aware of this in yourself as well as others can help you rebuild relationships with family and friends as well as create new relationships. Many people find that having relationships while sober is much more meaningful.
Increased energy also means your physical health can vastly improve. Working out and finding outdoor hobbies can be extremely rewarding. Since physical activity boosts endorphins and can produce a similar “high” to substance abuse, lots of people find exercise to be a natural way of feeling euphoric.
Sobriety can even out physical and emotional energy. It has the ability to make an activity such as reading a book or watching a movie seem pleasurable again. An increase in esteem is natural during this time because you can truly know who you are, what you like, and who you want to be with. Since there is no need to keep secrets or lie to yourself, many people are less self-conscious in general.
Sobriety can create happiness out of situations you never would have thought twice about. Taking a walk, listening to the radio and talking on the phone can become fun again once life no longer revolves around alcohol. For more information on how to live sober, please call us at: 866-963-7200.