Finding sobriety is a personal journey. No one’s path looks the same, and everyone faces different obstacles. For some, the situation becomes so dire that they see no light at the end of the tunnel and submit themselves to a life of addiction, even if it makes them miserable.
According to the addiction survivors we spoke to, entering rehabilitation not only saved their lives, it truly made them better people. They emerged happier, stronger, and confident in their ability to get their lives back on-track. Here are a few of their insights on finding sobriety and joy in life.
Clarity, Happiness, and Freedom
Jesse struggled with substance abuse for two decades. Finally, he said, things got out of control and he knew he needed to seek treatment.
“When I made the decision to come to rehabilitation, my life was chaotic. I had lost things that I love and I was ashamed of that, but at the same time, I knew that I needed to come fix myself so that I could be good for everyone else in my life,” he explained.
Realizing you need to change is one thing, but sometimes the next steps aren’t clear. When addiction has clouded your judgment, it’s easy to lose sight of the right path, or even lose yourself. Going to treatment and finding sobriety turned out to be the light Jesse needed.
“I had lost my spirit, and it helped me find that and helped me find myself and set me free from addiction,” he reflected. “It doesn’t have to define me anymore.”
And those differences among Jesse and others in recovery? He insists they’re beside the point:
“If you’re struggling and you feel alone, you’re never alone. We all have common ground and we all have the same enemy, and [seeking treatment] and being open to everything that they offer will help you defeat that enemy.”
“To be honest, I don’t really know if I ever really knew who I was fully, and now I do,” he went on. “It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had to be sober and to be able to have fun and to realize I don’t have to run anymore. I can deal with my problems.”
Fighting Back Despite Reservations
Keisha said her decision to enter addiction treatment didn’t come easily, and even after she arrived, she remained resistant to the idea. But the vigilance of her Choices Recovery counselors didn’t allow her to hide from her issues.
“I was still fighting it,” she admitted. “I was testing my boundaries just like I did on the outside. I wanted to see how far I could push, and instead, they would sit me up and say, ‘We see what you’re doing, and we know why you’re doing it, and it’s not going to work with us.’”
But once she finally opened up, she really opened up.
“As I started letting people in and started sharing parts of my story, I started to actually care about other people,” Keisha explained. “Whenever they were upset, I would want to be there for them, and normally it was just about me.
“I’m excited to see the change in myself and to see other people see it, but most of all, just to know it in my heart,” she added.
In the end, addiction comes down to the individual. You have to want sobriety for yourself, and you have to believe it’s truly possible for you. Though the future may seem uncertain at first, entering addiction treatment can be your route to a better life than you’ve ever known.
I’m excited to just be happy for once instead of always trying to do something to please everyone else,” Keisha concluded. “I’m ready to do it for myself and do what makes myself happy.”