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What Does It Feel Like to Get Sober?

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

What Does It Feel

Getting sober can be difficult and daunting for those overcoming addiction. But with the proper support and resources, many people have found lasting sobriety.

A study found that around 45% of people who completed formal alcohol treatment and 49% who went to Alcoholics Anonymous were still sober eight years after treatment. While this number may seem overwhelming, it is encouraging to know that many suffering from addiction can find the support and resources they need to embark on their sober journey.

So, how does it feel to get sober? Every recovery journey is unique, but there are some common experiences that many people undergoing treatment for drug or alcohol abuse can relate to. Let’s take a look at what they can be.

What to Expect When You Stop Using Substances?

When you stop using substances, your body will go through a period of physical and emotional healing.

During the first few days of sobriety, it’s common to experience feelings of withdrawal, such as nausea, headaches, cravings, depression, insomnia, and anxiety. These temporary symptoms can be managed with various treatments, from medications to lifestyle changes.

In the long term, maintaining sobriety requires commitment and dedication to a healthy lifestyle. This includes proper nutrition, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management.

It is also important to develop relationships with positive influences like support groups or mentors who can provide emotional understanding and guidance during your recovery from alcoholism.

You can rebuild your life without relying on substances with the right attitude and support system. You will become healthier, happier, and more connected with the world. As you experience increased freedom from addiction, you may also participate in activities that bring meaning to your life, such as volunteering or returning to school.

What to Expect When You Stop Using Substances

How Does it Feel Being Sober?

Being sober feels like a fresh start – it can be liberating and empowering in many ways.

It takes great inner strength to let go of addictive behaviors and substances, but this is the first step toward living an addiction-free life.

You also make sober friends once you quit drinking and join a sober person support group.

Once an individual has taken that first step, many resources are available to help them on their sobriety journey. Professional counseling, support groups, addiction medicine, and self-help programs are all excellent tools for staying sober. Joining these programs is a great way to create a sense of community with individuals with similar goals and experiences.

How Sobriety Can Look Boring

At first glance, sobriety can seem boring: no more partying with friends or drinking. But in reality, a sober journey is far from boring. When you are free from alcohol’s grip, you can experience life in its true colors.

Sobriety will bring clarity of mind and freedom from cravings, enabling you to enjoy life’s activities and moments better.

The newfound freedom when overcoming addiction will allow you to discover yourself, grow, and find new passions. You can explore new hobbies or old favorites without worrying about getting home safely or dealing with consequences related to your drinking habits.

When sober, time is yours again! You’ll be able to take up activities like spending time with family, going out and enjoying nature, or taking part in events that you wouldn’t have been able to attend previously.

A sober life also brings peace of mind: You’ll no longer need alcohol to escape reality because you will have a newfound appreciation for your life.

How Sobriety Can Look Boring

How Does Your Body Change While You Get Sober?

As you get sober and stay away from drugs and alcohol, your body will undergo several changes. It is important to understand the effects that sobriety can have on your physical health so that you can make informed decisions about your journey toward recovery.

The first thing that may happen is that your metabolism will slow down. When you drink or use drugs, your body is constantly working to process these substances, making it difficult to focus on other tasks. When you go sober, your metabolism will return to its normal rate, which can cause weight gain in some cases.

Another physical change that may occur during sobriety is increased energy levels. Substance abuse disrupts the body’s natural production of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that keep us content and energized. As you become sober, your body will start producing more endorphins, which can increase feelings of well-being and alertness.

You may also experience changes in your appetite during sobriety. This is due to decreased dopamine production, which is responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. As you become sober, your body will no longer need to produce as much dopamine, which can lead to a decreased interest in eating.

Finally, your skin may also change during sobriety. When you drink or use drugs, these substances can contribute to dehydration and inflammation, which can cause skin problems. As you become sober, your body’s natural healing processes will be able to function correctly, which can improve your skin’s appearance.

How Does Your Body Change While You Get Sober

How Do Your Emotions Change While You Get Sober?

When someone is actively getting sober, their emotions can often be overwhelming. One moment, they might feel a sense of freedom and accomplishment, but then, just as quickly, that feeling could be replaced with anxiety or depression. Remembering that these feelings are normal and part of the process is important.

It is also important to understand that every individual’s sober journey will look different. What might be a difficult step for one person may be manageable for another. That is why it is important to understand the various stages of sobriety and what emotions might arise during each phase.

The first stage of sobriety is often marked by relief from finally taking control of one’s life. This relief, however, is often quickly replaced by feelings of guilt and shame as the individual reflects on their past substance use and how it has impacted their life.

Some people with an active addiction tend to develop mental illness in connection with their substance use disorder. Your sober lifestyle needs to accommodate recovery from these mental issues.

The second stage of sobriety is a period of adjustment. People in this stage may struggle with cravings and find new ways to cope with stress without relying on substances. During this time, it is common to feel isolated or disconnected from others as the individual adjusts to life without drugs and alcohol.

The third stage of sobriety is often when people really start to get comfortable in their recovery. This stage brings with it a sense of clarity and purpose that can be empowering for those who have been struggling with addiction. At the same time, this period can also be difficult as people face their past and come to terms with the damage that drugs and alcohol have caused in their lives.

Finally, the fourth stage of sobriety is learning to live a balanced life without relying on substances. Feelings of contentment and joy often mark this stage as the individual finds a way to stay sober and enjoy life without drugs and alcohol.

How Do Your Emotions Change While You Get Sober

How to Find Happiness in Sobriety?

Once someone has reached the fourth stage of sobriety, they often feel a sense of joy and contentment. This is because they have come to terms with their past and can finally move forward without substance use. However, finding true happiness in this stage can still be challenging.

One way to find happiness in sobriety is to focus on cultivating positive relationships. Connecting with other sober individuals in a supportive environment can help reduce feelings of isolation and remind you that you are not alone in your recovery journey. Additionally, spending time with friends and family who understand what you are going through and support your sobriety can be incredibly beneficial.

Another way to find joy in sobriety is to focus on the present moment and appreciate the small moments in life. Taking a few minutes each day to meditate, practice yoga, or journal can be incredibly helpful in getting grounded and finding joy in the moment.

Finally, it is important to remember that taking care of yourself is essential for long-term sobriety and happiness. This means taking time each day to do something that brings you joy, whether reading a book, walking, or watching your favorite show. Practicing self-care by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep is also essential.

Will I be Happier if I Stop Drinking or Using Drugs?

The answer to this question is yes. While it may feel like sobriety is a constant battle at first, with time and dedication, you will start to feel better and more in control of your life.

You can find joy in the small moments that make up each day, such as spending time with family and friends, reading a book, or walking.

Additionally, abstaining from substance use can help to restore physical health and improve mental clarity. Long-term sobriety can also improve self-esteem, relationships, and overall quality of life. Ultimately, sobriety is an enriching journey that will give you the freedom and joy taken away by addiction.

Is it Easy To Become Sober?

No, it’s not easy to become sober. It takes dedication, hard work, and determination. Becoming sober is a long-term process that requires commitment and support from family and friends. There will be highs and lows along the way, but with patience and perseverance, recovery is possible.

To begin your journey to sobriety, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, it is important to acknowledge and accept the need for change. This includes facing difficult emotions and taking responsibility for past actions that may have caused harm. You must also hold your drinking buddies accountable in early sobriety and form healthy relationships with people who support your recovery.

Once you have accepted your need for sobriety, it’s time to reach out for help. Treatment centers can provide a safe environment to begin your recovery journey. Treatment centers offer medical and psychological care, as well as social support, to help individuals become sober and maintain sobriety for the long term.

Determining the right treatment program is an important step in your sobriety journey. Many programs specialize in various forms of addiction or a combination thereof. It’s important to speak to a qualified health professional who can help you find the right program for you and your needs.

Is it Easy To Become Sober

What To Expect When You Get Sober?

Getting sober can be scary and overwhelming, but it is also full of potential. When you choose to become free from addiction, your life will likely change in ways you hadn’t even expected.

1 Week

In the first week of sobriety, it is normal to experience feelings of anxiety and fear. You may feel lost as you adjust to living without drugs or alcohol. It’s important to remember that recovery is a journey, and it will take time for your body and mind to adjust.

1 Month

By the end of your first month of being sober, you will likely experience some positive changes. You may have more energy, improved sleep patterns, and better focus. Your relationships with family and friends may improve as well.

3 Months

At the three-month mark, you will have more clarity on how sobriety has improved your life. You may feel increased well-being and contentment in your daily routine.

6 Months

By the sixth month of sobriety, you have likely built a strong foundation for recovery. You may experience improved mental health and reduced physical symptoms. You will also be making progress on your long-term goals and rebuilding relationships with family and friends.

1 Year

Once the first year of sobriety has been achieved, you will have a much better understanding of your addiction and how to stay on the path of recovery. You will be more confident and feel more empowered by your success. This is an important milestone to celebrate and continue building on.

What Are the Hardest Days of Sobriety?

Sobriety is a difficult journey, with hard days along the way. The most difficult days of sobriety often occur in the early stages when cravings for drugs and alcohol can be powerful. Additionally, triggers such as stress or being in environments where drugs or alcohol are present can increase feelings of temptation, making it more challenging to stay sober. Sometimes, it takes many attempts at recovery to manage a drug and alcohol problem successfully.

It is important to remember that sobriety takes time. Developing a solid support system, reaching out to those who understand the struggle of sobriety, and engaging in activities that can reduce stress levels can all help ease the journey.

What Are the Hardest Days of Sobriety

What Routine Should I Follow so I Won’t Relapse?

Once you decide to give up alcohol, the next step is developing a routine to help prevent relapse.

First and foremost, building healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, and exercising regularly is essential. Creating a regular exercise regimen will help clear your mind and reduce the urge to drink alcohol. Additionally, practice healthy coping mechanisms such as deep breathing, relaxation exercises, or mindfulness meditation.

Building a supportive environment and looking for support groups and organizations to help with your journey is also important. Participating in support group meetings will allow you to speak openly about the challenges of sobriety and learn from other people’s experiences.

What Do Real People Say About the Experience of Being Sober?

Real people have shared that it was challenging to join the sober community and make new friends. Many said they initially felt alone but eventually found a community of like-minded individuals who helped them stay on track with their sober journey.

Others reported that while there were difficult moments, becoming sober made them feel healthier and more in control of their lives. They also found that their relationships with friends and family improved, and they were more productive at work.

People who have gone through the sober journey say it’s worth it. With patience and dedication, a successful recovery is possible.

Getting the Help You Need

At Design for Recovery, we find effective alcohol rehabilitation programs near you. Our knowledgeable and experienced team will help you find the right treatment program that meets your needs while providing professional support. Contact us today at 424-327-4614 to begin your journey toward recovery.

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  2. Hagen, E., Erga, A. H., Hagen, K. P., Nesvåg, S. M., McKay, J. R., Lundervold, A. J., & Walderhaug, E. (2017). One-year sobriety improves satisfaction with life, executive functions and psychological distress among patients with polysubstance use disorder.Journal of substance abuse treatment, 76, 81–87.

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Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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