Once someone steps into the world of recovery from whatever addiction they were isolated into, life begins to change in dramatic, albeit often slow, ways.
Addiction brings about several different kinds of negative effects on someones life and their overall well-being. Depending on the addiction, someone’s life can be impacted in a variety of ways. It is also not uncommon for someone to have dual addictions, thus increasing the damage that is done to them from their afflictions.1. Feeling Better Physically
Once someone gets off of an addiction, especially one that is a substance such as heroin or alcohol, the body begins to readjust and go back to the way it was before the addiction began. Granted, the withdrawals from such substances will surely not make someone feel good at all, but this is referring to after those withdrawals have passed.
Natural endorphins will begin to flow again, and regular rest starts to recur in the recovering addicts life, making their body fall back into a normal routine, resulting in one feeling physically better.2. Feeling Better Emotionally
Addictions are isolating and lead to one feeling extremely lonely. Friends and acquaintances begin to fade away. Once that begins, depression and anxiety settle in, making things worse. After someone has begun recovery, a sense of belonging starts to rise and the addict realizes that they are not alone, leading to new friends and acquaintances being made.3. Regaining A Community
Once someone begins recovery and regularly going to 12-step meetings, they start to become known within the group that they attend. A good meeting will accept anyone who wishes to become a part of the group. Most meetings, especially young people's meetings, have what is referred to as “fellowshipping” after the meeting, wherein a group of people go out to a restaurant, coffee shop, or something similar afterwards to further get to know each other.
More of the larger fellowships also have conventions wherein a large group of people from the same fellowship gather in one place and have a large array of events and a 24-hour meeting cycle. This is a great way to branch out and get to know others within the same community.4. Finding a Sense Of Purpose
Being in the midst of an addiction can lead one to feel as if they have no purpose in life, no point to being alive. THus it is not uncommon to hear of an addict having committed suicide while inebriated. This grim reality is one of the many fatal outcomes that comes from being an addict.
Once someone gets into recovery, they gain a sense of forward motion in their life, that they are doing the right thing. THings can get better from here, they might think. And thus, a sense of purpose re-emerges into their life.5. Gaining an Interest in the Well-Being of Others
One of the best characteristics of a recovery group is the common interest that each members holds in the well-being of the other members. People are concerned for each other. The 12th step of every 12-step program deals directly in helping others, and helps people get out of their own heads and own problems and focused on someone elses issues. This causes relief from the bondage of self and improves well-being in both parties.
It is not uncommon to hear from someone in recovery that they recommend you call someone else to see how they are doing if you are feeling bad. It works.6. Gaining A Spiritual Foundation
One of the biggest principles in any 12-step recovery program is to gain a sense of something bigger than yourself. Some may call it God, others may call it their Higher Power; it is rather off-putting to most people when they first get into recovery.
Some may come from antagonistically religious backgrounds and have rejected the idea of a God, or at least a good one, and others may simply come from an atheistic background and have no spirituality at all. Whatever the case may be, most people eventually come to grow spiritually and gain a sense of something bigger than themselves, which is the point.
The idea is that if the way you were running your own life led you into recovery, then one must give up their own self-will to a higher power than themselves to guide them into a better life, one they have never known before.