Good morning on this foggy morning in the Bay Area. I was sitting on the front enclosed porch with my coffee, watching the day awaken, and the sky got a pink glow to it as the sun rose. Pretty soon, I was surrounded in pink. It was beautiful.
That is one of the biggest rewards of sobriety – being able to enjoy a sunrise without being hung over. I love not having hangovers. Used to be that I awoke and was badly hung over for about 6 hours, so much so that I couldn’t function, had to eat hot burritos from Taco Bell or a greasy thigh from Kentucky Fried Chicken. After I felt better, I functioned until 5 pm, when I started drinking and did it all over again.
What a miserable existence that was. I was missing out on experiencing things like sunrises. But in sobriety, I enjoy them and so much more. In sobriety, I find I am able to open my heart in a very genuine way to others and to myself. The feeling of really caring about another, seeing them with gentleness and kindness, is so soothing to my spirit.
Compassion is another emotion I am able to feel in sobriety and that allows me to connect with others in a very intimate way. My soul is fed when that happens. It has led me to forgiveness.
Perhaps the biggest reward of sobriety is my ability to look at myself – my actions, words, behaviors – and be responsible for them, fully responsible. It is humbling at times as I realize how I’ve treated another poorly, or treated myself poorly, had negative thoughts about myself, beat myself up. Being responsible for myself and my behavior has led me to inner peace, as I can settle the score with myself and others as I go through the day.
The reward of sobriety for me also includes being able to care for others in a deep and meaningful way. It’s hard to describe the feeling that evokes, but it feels great! I also have much more patience, and I allow others to be themselves, accepting them as they are.
So, a lack of hangovers, feeling more kindness, gentleness and compassion toward others, being self-responsible, and generally being more aware of my physical surroundings are my rewards of sobriety.
What are the rewards of sobriety that you experience? Leave a comment and let us know.