A new year is upon us, and for many people, that means an opportunity to make resolutions to become better versions of themselves or to accomplish long-term goals. Millions of people vow, at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, to make an effort to lose weight, quit smoking, spend more time with friends and family, or to advance in their career. For sober people, a new year presents an opportunity to stay sober and grow. Sometimes, drinking or picking up a drug may seem like a tempting option, but there are many more reasons to stay sober than there are to relapse.
A New Year, More Reasons to Stay Sober
Early sobriety can be very tough. When an addict or alcoholic puts down the drink or the drug, the emotional load can be overwhelming. Most people in early recovery have to contend with repairing broken family relationships and friendships, dealing with financial difficulties and work or school problems, and navigating through co-occurring mood disorders or physical ailments that get neglected during active addiction. During these tough times, relapse can be tempting. For most people who suffer from substance dependence, the easiest way they know how to deal with painful emotions or difficulties in life is to numb it through the use of alcohol or drugs. However, staying sober, while tough, has far-reaching, long-lasting benefits that are harder to achieve but absolutely worth the effort. Since time is an important symbolic marker for many people, both in recovery and not, a day like New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day can be a great time to rededicate yourself to your program of recovery, to set positive goals and intentions, and to make a fresh start at becoming the person you want to be. The holidays can be tough for people in early recovery because they are often associated with drinking or drug use and partying. However, the new year can be an excellent time to reflect on the year behind and plan for the year ahead, to feel proud of your accomplishments and to plan for new ones. It’s a great day to take some time for yourself and remember all of the many reasons you decided to get sober, and why staying sober is the best choice for you.
What Sobriety Can Do for You
In addition to helping one to avoid the inevitable, tragic consequences of active addiction, like jail or even death, sobriety can be incredibly fulfilling. Some people end up in recovery because they are court-ordered, others are scared by a near-fatal overdose or an arrest, some want to please their spouse or family, and others are simply exhausted by the daily stress and pain of addiction. No matter how someone enters recovery, there are plenty of reasons to stay sober. Dedicating yourself to a program of recovery in the New Year is a great idea because:
- Sobriety can help you reach your career or academic goals. It’s hard to get a promotion or a degree when you’re wasted or in withdrawal. If one of your goals for 2017 is to make strides in your work or school life, staying sober is the first step to achieving it.
- Resolutions don’t happen without a solid foundation. If you want to lose weight, quit cigarettes, travel more, or learn a new hobby, it’s not going to happen under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Millions of people make resolutions every New Year’s Eve that gets abandoned by February. Staying sober and clear-headed can give you the mental focus and the edge you need to really accomplish any goals you set for the upcoming year.
- Your relationships will be better. The nature of addiction is secrets, deception, and lies. Vulnerable, solid, and long-lasting relationships can’t be built on that foundation. If you want to have meaningful relationships in the New Year, sobriety is the path.
- If you’re an addict or alcoholic, your physical health depends upon sobriety. 2016 saw a lot of high-profile deaths, and quite a few of them were a direct result of drug use. Staying clean and sober in 2017 is the only way to avoid and tragic death as the result of addiction and/or alcoholism. This year, let’s reduce the terrifying overdose statistics we’ve seen in the past decade.
- Inner peace is the result. When an addict or an alcoholic puts down the substances and begins the recovery journey, they are on their way towards serenity and peace. These are the gifts of the program that don’t appear under the Christmas tree, but rather, come from within. To have a peaceful and fulfilling 2017, staying sober is a great start.
There are infinite reasons to stay sober in the New Year, but sometimes they are obscured by the thinking patterns and behaviors that are common in addiction. If you know that you don’t like the way that you’re living, and you’re looking to make a fresh start in 2017 and begin to build a happy life free from alcohol and drugs, we can help. Call the Discovery Institute at 888-616-7177.