Your entire life goes through the rebuilding process you decide to get treatment for addiction to drugs like methadone and embrace sobriety. It may not feel like it at first, but as you mature in the recovery process, you will start to see progress. This is not to say your recovery will be easy all of the time. There will be times where you are tempted to slip back into bad habits. As you stay in treatment and continue to stay clean, you will start to see many benefits of the benefits to your new healthy lifestyle. From just feeling better mentally and physically, there are many other benefits to consider including the following:
Suddenly You Have More Free Time on Your Hands
When you were doing drugs, you spent many hours getting high, looking for more drugs or looking for money to buy more drugs. Now, with your recovery lifestyle, you suddenly have more hours in the day and also more opportunities to do new things. With this new open amount of time, you have the ability to be more productive than ever and to accomplish more of your goals. You can pursue past hobbies. You may not think a hobby can help you stay sober from drugs like methadone, but hobbies are very important as they can help you live a balanced life. Something you enjoy that is interesting can be a great way to burn off stress. This does not have to be something complex—if you once enjoyed stamp collecting, picking up the hobby again could be a great way to spend your time. Feel free to experiment and try new things. If you have always wanted to take an acting class or photography class, now you have the time to do so. Contact your local community center or local college for details. If you don’t have the budget or access to a class that interests you at the present time, you could always find some online tutorials for free. Get a friend to join you to make it more enjoyable, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn together.
It is important to note that this time must be managed well, or you can find yourself bored, lonely or even stressed. Chronic stress is something that increases the risk of developing health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a weakened immune system. This is why having some form of schedule is vital to your sobriety. Do not isolate yourself by just sitting on the couch at home, or you will likely find yourself using again.
You Will Have More Money
When you were using, you likely spent a lot of your money on drugs like methadone. Now that this income is not being spent on your addiction, you have a budget to pursue your hobbies and to meet friends for coffee or to go to the zoo. This is just one great example of how you can build positive momentum in your life when you get sober.
You Will Have New Relationships
Whether from your support groups, friends you have met at the gym or individuals you have met at hobby-based events, you will meet new people. You cannot be connected with those who are still participating in substance abuse. Even with your family and friends, in some ways you will have new relationships because now you are sober. You will behave and act like a completely different person.
You Are Now Present in the Moment
Being present is a completely different state of mind, and now you will be able to pay attention to details that you once ignored. No longer are your senses dulled by drugs like methadone. You are fully aware and able to listen better to others and also contribute more in relationships with others. In many ways it is the difference between not having glasses and putting on glasses for the first time. You now are able to see clearer and have a new level of focus.
You Can Now Help Other People
When you are under the influence, you need help. You do not have the ability to really help others at that time. However, when you are clean, over time as you mature in your sobriety, you can help others with their substance abuse addiction. You know how it feels to be reliant on drugs like methadone or alcohol, so you can provide valuable insight and encouragement to help others in times of need. You may decide to be a sponsor at some point or just help out with community projects.
You Can Accomplish Long-term Goals
One fantastic benefit of recovery is that when you are sober you have the endurance and the ability to meet long-term goals. You can plan ahead and go after something you really want. Whether it is to get a degree or just to be a better parent who leaves a legacy of recovery, you now can pursue—and often achieve—your goals. The great thing is that even if you fail in the short-term, now as you are healthier both mentally and physically, you can bounce back and have success in the long-term.
Recovery is not just a one-step process but rather requires several steps. One definition of recovery is that it is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential. You will need some guidance along the way to help you stay on the right track. If you would like to talk to one of our counselors, please call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline. We have professionally trained counselors who can help you move forward in your recovery from addiction to drugs like methadone today.
 http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/02/25/how-stress-affects-mental-health/ How Stress Affects Mental Health, Maldonado, Marissa. February 25th, 2014.
 http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//PEP12-RECDEF/PEP12-RECDEF.pdf SAMSHA Working Definition of Recovery