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First and foremost, you probably didn’t realize you were an addict until you got clean. Might sound weird but, for most of us, we didn’t realize we had a real problem until we decided to get clean and got some sobriety under our belts. Looking back, however, it’s quite obvious to us that we did, indeed, struggle with the disease of addiction. 10 Things you don’t realize until you get sober:

#1 That alcohol and other drugs had stopped being fun

At first, drinking and drugging was fun. After a while, we kept using because well, we felt better when we used. When in fact, it was the alcohol and other substances that were causing our depression, loneliness, and overall sadness.

#2 That we didn’t look amazing

Due to all the drinking and other drug use, our physical appearance took quite the blow. However, being in a perpetual foggy-headed state of mind, we had no idea just how bad we looked. Substance abuse affects weight, causing either weight gain – or bloating – or, more often severe weight loss. Skin and hair lose shine and luster and personal hygiene goes out the window, further leading to an overall appearance of being totally jacked-up.

#3 That drugs and alcohol didn’t enhance our abilities

It’s true, drinking and the use of other drugs lowers our inhibitions and, while maybe having one glass of wine is enough to take the edge off so that you feel more comfortable and slightly more confident, the way we drank and drugged certainly did not enhance any of our skills or abilities. In fact, it left us quite uncoordinated and looking a damn fool. Which leads us to this:

#4 How uncoordinated, problematic, and simply just no fun we were

Until we got sober, we thought we were awesome. Super cool, artful, and clever. In reality, we were obnoxious, clumsy, and bumbling fools.

#5 Just how much the drink or drug had come to own us

It wasn’t until we got sober that we realized just how much of our daily routine revolved around getting and taking drugs/drinking alcohol. Once we became psychologically and physically dependent, we simply could not function without our drug of choice.

#6 All of our money was going towards supporting our habit.

In the midst of our active addiction, we didn’t realize just how much we were spending on drugs and alcohol. It was almost baffling how broke we were on a daily basis. Many of us resorted to illegal activities just so we could keep our habit going.

#7 That things were getting worse but, for some unknown reason

Well, when you’re feeding a severe and powerful addiction to substances, of course your life turns to poo. We might have started to accumulate negative consequences: legal issues, relationship problems, loss of our job; but, it wasn’t because we were using. Nope. It was purely bad luck. Really bad luck.

#8 Just how crazy we had become

Looking back after getting sober (and clearing our heads), we realize just how insane we had become while in active addiction. A lot of us ended up in hospital psych wards. At the time, we didn’t see how others saw us: bat-sh*t crazy.

#9 That we simply couldn’t stop

In the beginning, when it was just good ol’ partying, we never wanted it to end. After becoming hooked and we truly wanted to stop, we couldn’t.

#10 That we had become the walking dead

At one time, the alcohol and drugs served a purpose – they might have been fun, or worked really well at helping us escape our problems, but it all became too much. After we got sober, we realized just how much of a shell of a person we had become when we were in active addiction. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.  

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