Sobriety is the state of not being intoxicated or the state of being sober. Sobriety is the condition of not having any measurable effects or levels from any substances (drugs or alcohol). However, sobriety means so much more than not being intoxicated. It is finding a sense of peace within yourself, developing the discipline to stay sober, with the ups and downs of life, and being abstinent. The good news is that for a vast majority of people, addiction recovery brings a sense of serenity, purpose, and freedom that no drug could ever match, even for a minute.
Does Sobriety Equal Happiness?
Sobriety does not equal happiness. For a lot of people, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety are what led them to a life of substance abuse in the first place. The cold hard truth is that there are a lot of people in this world that have battled untreated mental illnesses or disorders for years. The correlation between mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders has been well proven and documented. When some go through detox and get sober, that depression and anxiety, that they numbed for years, returns. And, oftentimes it is much worse than it was before the individual started using drugs or alcohol. Also, it takes time for a person’s brain to heal after detoxing from addiction; the brain changes.
Addiction Recovery Heals Emotional Scars With Time
During this period through treatment, the individual learns how to feel and cope with life instead of self-medicating. It is far from being an easy process. Especially for someone that has been using drugs or alcohol for years. A lot of emotions come out in early recovery, and happiness is usually not one of them. The National Institute of Mental Health has reported on how mental health disorders leave people feeling hopeless and alone:
Mental illnesses are real disorders with real treatments, but too few people receive optimal care. Families of people with serious mental illness live with a patchwork of care and support services and they fear for their loved one’s safety and wellbeing. Many people with these disorders refuse the treatments available, either because they deny their illness or because part of their illness (paranoia, hopelessness, or phobias) precludes seeking care. And for too many, the treatments we have today are not good enough. While the numbers alone are compelling, the personal stories of families and individuals affected by mental illness complete the picture of why finding ways to prevent and treat mental illness are such an urgent need. (NIMH)
How Do You Find Happiness in Sobriety?
One of the biggest keys to being happy in sobriety is remembering to be grateful; gratefulness equals happiness. Being grateful is extremely powerful. It helps those in recovery to be more self-compassionate. Having positive thoughts helps to increase dopamine. When a person is in recovery, they have to eliminate any negativity in their life, remain positive, and start changing the way they think. One of the other things that can help reduce depression with sobriety is to reduce stress levels. Again avoiding negative people is a huge part of this. Practicing self-care and mindfulness or meditation can also help to reduce stress levels. Exercising and eating a healthy diet are also important tools you can use to reduce stress, depression, and improve mood. Seeing a therapist regularly and joining support groups or going to 12-step meetings are a couple of the other things a newly sober person can do to help with depression. You aren’t alone in this fight. Knowing that there are others out there that you can reach out to when things get tough is so important. It helps to know that you’ve got people in your corner that truly love and care about you and want nothing but the best for you, and that is for you to be happy.
Therapy for Drug Addiction and Alcohol Abuse
If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction issue, our addiction specialists are available around the clock to assist you. Evoke Wellness MA offers evidence-based treatment programs. Our solution-focused addiction treatment will lead you on a road to long-lasting recovery. You don’t have to suffer any longer, we will be there every step of the way giving it our best effort to guide you or a loved one to happiness.