15+ Reasons To Quit Drinking and Getting High

Whether you’re thinking of quitting or you’ve already quit and are looking for reasons to stay sober, we’re here to help. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but there are 15+ reasons to quit drinking and getting high. I will add more as time goes on. Let me be clear, that there are 15 not because I couldn’t think of more, but because my fingers got tired of typing and I had to start working (another reason to quit drinking + using!) The reasons below are provided in the format of what I’ve gained in recovery. They are my reasons to stay sober each and every day. Your list may look different, so I implore you to challenge yourself, find your own reasons to quit drinking and getting high today, and maybe even share that list with us! (Maybe you can help us grow our list to help others, too.)

Without further adieu, here’s our list of 15+ reasons to quit drinking and getting high.

#1. Your Physical Health
It’s no secret or surprise that drugs and alcohol take a physical toll on our bodies. Our blood pressure rises and falls, our livers and kidneys begin shutting down, we become prone to heart attacks and a myriad of physical health issues. Some of these conditions and dangers to our health become permanent with long-term drug and alcohol abuse. But by getting clean and sober, we can stop the progress of these conditions, and at best reverse some of the damage. Or, we can stop before we develop these issues.

#2. Your Mental Health
Some of us, depending on our genetics, overall health, and drugs of choice, are lucky enough to avoid suffering from chronic diseases and shutting down of bodily functions. But few of us escape the mental health issues that come along with years of drug abuse. Like the physical symptoms and effects of our addictions, many of these mental health issues become permanent. Depression, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia, psychosis–many of us can no longer remember if the mental health disorders came first or if they were caused by the addiction. Nonetheless, the exist and coincide with our addictions and can make our journey to recovery much more difficult. The sooner we quit drinking and getting high, the sooner we can regain some sense of normalcy, no matter what that looks like for us.

#3. Your Family + Loved Ones
Addiction is 100% a family disease. We think we suffer through our addiction, but we often fail to consider the effects we’re having on our own family, our closest friends, and our loved ones in general. Many of us lose the people we love one by one, or all at once, because of our addictions. It isn’t until we quit drinking and using that we can finally begin to see the effect our drinking or using had on those around us; and it isn’t until we quit drinking and using that we can (hopefully) restore some of those relationships.

#4. Your Kids (if you have them)
Technically our kids fall within the category of family and loved ones. But for me, it wasn’t until I lost my kids, and came close to losing them forever, that I really snapped back into reality. My family walked out of my life, my friends disappeared one by one, but my kids–my kids are my life. My life line. My entire reason for living. Whether I had accepted it or not (for a long time not), I could not continue to use drugs while successfully raising my children, or being in their lives at all. That was the single greatest wakeup call that brought me to my knees and into recovery.

#5. Your Dreams + Goals
When I began using, I was so young that I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. Sure, I had some dreams, but they were so far away that they didn’t matter. Some of us were actively working towards our dreams and goals, while others had actually achieved them before they started using. Regardless of the point at which we started using, drugs and alcohol strip away all of our greatest aspirations. Some of us are able to hold onto them and at the very least remember what they were. Some of us lose interest in them all together and have to find new direction in recovery. Some of us are able to hit the ground running and continue living as if our lives had never been interrupted. Regardless, two truths remain: 1. the longer we spend in active addiction, the farther back our lives, dreams, and goals are pushed and the longer we have to catch up; and 2. we can’t begin rebuilding and achieving our goals until we get clean and sober.

#6. Money $$$
I didn’t even want to think about how much money I threw away to drugs and alcohol when I got sober. Even still I can’t even calculate it, and I shudder to think. The fact is, I used more money on drugs and alcohol than I ever made. Now that I’m in recovery–let’s be honest, I still spend money needlessly. But I have something to show for it. I’m able to spend money on my kids. I’m able to put food on the table, buy shoes and clothes for my babies, buy bras and underwear for myself when I need them. Money is still an issue, but I don’t have to steal and neglect mine and my childrens’ basic needs for a high that wouldn’t even last an hour before I had to go through it all again.

#7. Stability
When I was in active addiction, stability scared the shit out of me. Stability, to me, meant that something was about to go down. The other shoe was about to drop and it was only a matter of time. I was so addicted to the highs and lows of my addiction–getting and using, then running out and needing more–even as much as I was addicted to the drugs. Stability was such a foreign concept and feeling to me that every time I began to feel stability within my recovery, I freaked out and relapsed.

Now in recovery, I crave stability. If you ever felt the way I did about stability, then please let me tell you: it’s worth it. 100%. Stability is the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t have to constantly worry or be on guard, wondering when I’m going to get caught or if I’ll go back to jail. Stability brings me peace and these days there isn’t anything that I’m willing to allow to disrupt my peace.

#8. Helping Others
Hands down one of the best reasons to quit drinking and getting high and to begin a life of active recovery is having the ability to help others. Simply telling your story has the potential to reach another person, help them realize that they’re not alone, that they’re worth it, that recovery is possible. Telling your story has the potential to help another person find recovery. And that alone is worth getting sober.

#9. Self Confidence, Self Esteem, Self Worth
When I was in active addiction, I couldn’t have possible felt worse about myself. I hated myself with such a burning passion that I continued using simply out of spite for myself. I purposely kept myself from being happy. Self sabotage to the highest degree.

In recovery I’ve been able to work on those parts of myself that I hated so much, and those parts of myself that contained so much self loathing that they held me back. Being in recovery has allowed me to find myself, who I truly am. It’s helped me to love myself, to value myself, and to respect myself. I t can do the same to you, if you put in the work.

#10. Gain/Regain Responsibility
Ugh, responsibility. I dreaded it in active addiction and I would have done anything to escape it. I did do everything to escape it (namely drugs). But responsibility is such a gift. It means that others trust me. It means that I can properly care for my children. It means that I’m a capable, functioning, successful member of society and nothing can stand in my way. Responsibility is such a huge part of recovery. It shows us that we’re really doing it, we’re really making it. That’s why AA and NA give out service positions ;).

#11. Give Yourself a Future
Recovery opens up so many doors for us. It gives us the ability to find out what we want out of life and take it. Once we’re able to determine what our strengths and passions are, we can finally give ourselves the future we always dreamed of or never thought we’d have.
#12. Find True Happiness
Let me make this clear: happiness does not come from drugs. Happiness does not come from other people, places, or things. It doesn’t even come from money. Happiness comes from within. In recovery we’re able to chase happiness, true happiness, the same way we chased our high.

#13. Get Honest
One of the things I hated most about addition was how dishonest I became. I’m generally a truth teller and it’s something I’ve prided myself on, but in addiction I’d become a completely different person. I’d become a person who couldn’t tell the truth if my life depended on it. Now in recovery I’ve become myself again. I don’t have to lie about where I’m going or what I’m doing. I don’t have to lie to my family and friends. I can be honest and not have to worry about the fallout.

#14. Gain/Regain Trust
Along with honesty and responsibility, in recovery we’re able to gain and regain trust. Some of us were never trusted. Some of us lost trust in others while others lost trust in us. Some of us lost trust of ourselves.

Trust doesn’t happen overnight. For some of us it may take months, for most of us it may take years to be trusted again. My therapist once told me about a client who said that for every year he drank, he gave his family 365 reasons not to trust him, so the least he could do is give them as much time to trust him again. But being sober means being accountable. The more honest we get, the more people are able to trust us again. We’re able to hold jobs, help run errands, balance finances, without someone looking over our shoulder. What an amazing feeling it is to be trusted–and to know that we’ve earned it.

#15. Get Your Life Back
In recovery we learn to be ourselves again. Many of us lose our identity in addiction. We lost who we are. Some of us never knew who we were in the first place. Recovery means finding and defining ourselves, bit by bit, until we can put the pieces together and be who we want to be. Even if it means starting from the ground up, discovering and creating ourselves is worth the work, and only recovery can open that door for us. Getting our lives back is one of the very best gifts and one of the most important reasons to quit drinking and using.

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