When you’ve come to that point in your drug- or alcohol-using life when you’re maybe thinking about getting clean and sober, ask yourself why it is that you really want to do this. While some of the following reasons may not apply to you, they are the top reasons for many others. They are the spark that ignited the desire to get clean and sober. Are they good ones? Are they good enough for you? Let’s take a look.
- Stop the Pain – All I wanted to do was stop the pain. Everything was just too painful without drinking. Sometimes I did pills and alcohol to really make the pain go away faster. When the effects wore off, all I could think about was the pain, so I drank and took more pills. But the pain came back even worse. After many years of this, I decided the only way to really stop the pain was to stop drinking and using pills completely. I realized the pain in my life was mostly caused by my drinking and drugs. I had to stop it. That’s why I quit.
- I Want to Change – When I look back on what my life has been and who I’ve become, I see that it’s not a pretty picture. I’ve let people down, most of all myself. It got to the point where I couldn’t even stand to look at myself in the mirror because of all the lies and hurtful things I’ve done because of my drinking/using. Nobody else is forcing me to change. I’m the one that’s driving my desire to stop doing drugs and alcohol. I know it won’t be easy, but I really want to be clean and sober – and stay that way.
- Regain My Self-Esteem – I felt worthless, no good to anyone, least of all to myself. If anybody asked me to do something, I knew I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have it in me. Somewhere over weeks or months or whatever, it got so that no one ever asked me to do anything. They probably knew how worthless and unreliable I was. The big thing is that I knew it – and I found that I really didn’t like it. And I knew the cause was my drinking, which had gotten way out of control quite some time ago. The only way I’d regain my self-esteem would be to get clean and sober. One day I just woke up and said, that’s it, I’m quitting drinking for good. Then I got help, because I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
- Be a Good Parent – My children were suffering – something I was increasingly unable to see in my fog of drinking and drugs. I don’t mean I physically abused them, although I did raise my hand a few times. But I yelled at them constantly, called them horrible names. I forgot to do their laundry, missed their school events, didn’t wake them up for school, didn’t compliment their successes. I didn’t even realize what was going on with them. Frankly, I didn’t care. I was so wrapped up in my own cycle of getting high, coming down, and feeling the need to get high again that my kids just got left behind. One day when I wasn’t too high I saw my youngest one crying and the oldest trying to comfort her, trying to be the parent. I looked around and the house was a mess, a pigsty, really. I was dirty, hadn’t showered in days, and I suddenly thought, “You’ve really messed up with your kids. What kind of a parent are you?” That did it for me. I want to be a good parent, a role model, to my children, and that’s what got me wanting to get clean and sober.
- Be a Loving Spouse – I don’t know how my spouse put up with me all these years. I stole money, acted crazy in front of our friends, and generally made life miserable. Sex was either nonexistent after a while or I was too drugged or drunk to be much good. But my spouse stuck with me, telling me how much I was loved, how he’d always love me. I wondered how he really could love me? How could anyone? When I’d see other women look at him, I sometimes thought he’d be better off with them than me. But then I remembered – I admit, I was somewhat sober at the time – how much he meant to me and how much I really wanted to be the wife and life partner for him that I promised when we got married. I decided I’d get clean and sober so I could really give him all the love I have. It’s not buried that deep inside that I can’t find it again. And I’m going to do it – not for him, but for me.
- Stop Being Embarrassed – Everything I did was embarrassing. My family and friends couldn’t stand having me around anymore because I’d get too loud, rip off my clothes or say something really obnoxious or cruel. I’d flirt with other people’s spouses, male or female, it didn’t matter, even though I knew it was wrong. I didn’t care. When I drank, nothing mattered except what I wanted at the time, whatever that was. I’d wake up passed out in some dirty bathroom in a bar with my head in the toilet, puke all over me, and all I’d think about was where was my drink? One time I’d really had too much after drinking nonstop for several days. The cleaning people found me still passed out in the john and found my purse. They tried to wake me up but I kept nodding off. They called some numbers in my address book. Guess what? No one would come get me. They ultimately called the police. When I sobered up enough to realize what happened, I decided right then and there that I was off drinking. I’d do whatever it took so that I’d never embarrass myself like that again.
- Want to Remember – I’ve lost so many memories because of drugs and drinking. I missed so many birthdays of my children, so many of their milestone events. I can’t even remember what happened last week, let alone a month or two ago. How could things have gotten this bad? I don’t remember when just drinking a glass of wine was all I did. Who was that young girl that was once so innocent. Was it ever really me? Today I see my children and they’re already so big! I want to be able to remember the rest of their growing up years. This means so much to me that I will quit drinking and drugs. I need to do it. I want to do it. I have to do it. If not, all my tomorrows will be gone, just like all my yesterdays. I can’t let that happen. I’m done with alcohol and drugs.
- Be Respected – When I was growing up, all us kids respected our parents. They were like God to us, and we loved them unconditionally. They worked hard and gave us all the love they had. In my life, as it is today, I don’t have anyone that looks up to me, no one that respects me. Why? Because I’m a piece of work, that’s why. I don’t do anything that would cause people to respect me. You can’t rely on me, my word doesn’t mean anything because I won’t live up to it. My children ignore what I say because I’m usually drunk or high. I’ve even caught them laughing at me behind my back. God, I hate what I’ve become! Somewhere I lost it all and let myself become this hateful, unreliable person. I want to be a person that others respect, that my children respect, that I respect. There’s only one way to do that: I have to quit drinking and doing drugs.
- Provide For My Family – As a spouse and parent, I have a financial obligation to fulfill – and I’ve failed miserably at that because of my habit. I haven’t been able to keep a job, we’ve lost our house, and my children won’t be able to go to college. I can’t see how my wife hasn’t left me yet. I would, if I was her. It started just as a way to cope with stress, just a drink or a joint or two. Then it became more. Then it got to be all the time. Then I couldn’t stop, and it cost us plenty. I want to be able to provide for my family again. I want to be the kind of person that can get and hold onto a good job. I want to regain my sense of purpose, to be proud of myself and who I am. Not the way I was. That’s all in the past, starting today. I’m getting off alcohol and crack.
- Have Friends Again – I used to have good friends. I used to be a good friend. That was all before drugs and drinking got to be my way of life. Now I have no one, no one except me, and that’s a sorry excuse for life. Deep down inside, I know I’ve got it in me to be the kind of person that can be a good friend, someone who has your back, someone who doesn’t let you down. I’ve got to find that inner me again, and the only way I can see to do that is to get clean and sober.
After looking at these top reasons why others have decided to get clean and sober, you may find some that hit home with you. Maybe you have others that are a little different. But the one thing all of them have in common is the deep and genuine desire on the part of the abuser to get clean and sober. It takes commitment and discipline and a willingness to go through the tough times to come out on the other side. You have to want to, really want to, in order for it to work.
Write down your reasons for getting clean and sober. Then act on them. Get help today so that you can have all your tomorrows free of drugs and alcohol.
Please note: this blog post was taken directly from Promises post of August 10, 2009. The reasons are still valid. Call today for help finding the best treatment facility for you or your loved one.