Consider this –have you ever met a cocaine addict who read nutrition labels? What about a drunk who only ate organic vegetables? Ever seen a meth user who went on a brisk walk every morning in spiffy workout gear? Chances are, the answer is a resounding no to all of the above. Staying healthy while being addicted to drugs or alcohol just doesn’t happen. The two simply cannot co-exist. After all, addiction is the enemy of life. It never supports activities, attitudes and decisions that will benefit you and your health –only those that end in death and destruction.
By the time most addicts and alcoholics enter recovery, we are in survival mode. Proper nutrition and personal hygiene habits took a backseat to our drug of choice. Needless to say, years of drug and alcohol abuse eventually take their toll on the body. Major physical problems, mental health issues and dental troubles inevitably arise as the result of long-term drug and alcohol addiction. Unfortunately, many people even arrive to the rooms of recovery with incurable illnesses caused by their addiction –HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and Cirrhosis; to name a few.
When we indulged our disease, life was about getting high or drunk, while failing miserably, trying to hide our addiction or alcoholism from the people we love. Physical health was never a priority –the only priority was getting another fix, taking another drink or popping another pill.
Nevertheless, just for today, we can learn to take care of ourselves properly. We can make health a priority. Sobriety affords us the opportunity to address whatever health issues we may be dealing with as the result of our disease. Whether you have a serious illness or something as simple as untreated cavities, don’t be afraid to take an active role in seeking solutions to enhance your health.
In the early days of recovery, staying sober is number one. Learning to live one day at a time without getting high or drunk is one of the most difficult undertakings you will ever face as a human being. This means you should be patient with yourself and your progress when you first get sober, devoting yourself to nothing more than meeting attendance, step work and time with your sponsor. After awhile, though, it’s important to expect more from yourself and your commitment to sobriety.
Recovering From Drug and Alcohol Abuse
When you’re on the road to recovery (with at least a few months clean time), you ought to become more mindful of your body’s physical needs and start taking your health seriously. Your physical well-being is vital to your sobriety. Making significant life changes that will have a positive impact on your mind, body and spirit –not to mention your sobriety –will enhance the joy and serenity in your life. Plus, being physically healthy makes you stronger emotionally and spiritually. This helps to reaffirm your daily commitment to staying clean and sober.
When we reached the depths of despair caused by our addiction to drugs and alcohol, we got there by means of a very sick, intoxicated and chemically exhausted body. Today, we strive to stay clean and keep that same body free from experiencing any more unnecessary abuse. We do this by staying sober, one day at a time.
The road to recovery will take you to beautiful places you never imagined possible. You’ll want to be healthy and whole when you finally arrive. Just for today, make your health a priority. Make an appointment to see a doctor. If you can’t afford one, find out what resources are available to you so you can see a healthcare professional at no charge. Talk to your sponsor to find our how he or she takes care of their own physical health. Do something, however small, to establish your health as a priority in your life.