In honor of those celebrating recovery, we asked bloggers, recovery organization members, authors, and other who\u2019ve made the journey from addiction to sobriety one simple question: \u201cWhat\u2019s been the most unexpected reward of recovery?\u201d If you\u2019re struggling with drugs or alcohol, the experts at Promises Behavioral Health know that the answers will help show what is possible. We can also inspire you to reach out for the help you need so that you can celebrate recovery too. What\u2019s Been the Most Unexpected Reward of Recovery? Jakie Elliot \u201cTime seems to be in abundance. During my \u2018drinking days,\u2019 weeks and months would fly by in a blur. I didn\u2019t seem to be achieving anything, connecting with anyone (so many friends and other relationships neglected), or making any lasting memories at all. When I quit, it was like the world slowed a little on its axis. I had time to fit in so many activities, start a business, have time for writing and other creative pursuits \u2014 and still have quality time with my husband and family. The most unexpected, but treasured gift of sobriety, for me, is time.\u201d \u2014 Jackie Elliott, sobriety blogger, sobersassylife.com Amber Tozer \u201cThe most unexpected reward of recovery is evolving into the person who I was trying to be when I was drinking \u2014 comfortable and confident in my own skin. When I\u2019m at a party, or with a group of people, and I just blurt out whatever I want, and I don\u2019t care what people think, and whatever I blurt out isn't offensive or embarrassing (most of the time) \u2014 I think, \u2018Holy shit! That was easy!\u2019 Then I have some more water.\u201d \u2014 Amber Tozer, comedian and author of \u201cSober Stick Figure\u201d Tom Coderre \u201cWhen I started my journey 13 years ago I just wanted to get well, and was I surprised to learn that there would be so many rewards in addition to that. I\u2019ve become whole in every sense of the word and that is a gift.\u00a0But an unexpected reward is being able to help people. Whether it\u2019s one on one with individuals or my work at SAMHSA advancing public policy, I\u2019m helping others find what I\u2019ve found.\u00a0Recovery is truly contagious!\u201d \u2014 Tom Coderre, chief of staff at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Tami Harper Winn \u201cThe last thing my ex-husband said to me before I got sober was, \u2018The only problem I have is that you are still breathing.\u2019 I could have never foreseen that years later he would be there the night I took my six-year chip. As a result of staying sober and making amends I have been able to repair burnt bridges and mend the damage of my past. I have financial freedom, renewed relationships that I cherish, and I was able to give my mother and father peace and care for each of them in their final moments here on earth. Sobriety has given me a life that I would never have believed I deserved. But I do, because I\u2019m living it.\u201d \u2014 Tami Harper Winn, bullet dodger\/Sobriety Secrets blogger, drunkless.com\/tami-harper-winn-index Aaron Emerson \u201cRecovery has brought me countless rewards that continue to come about each day. One reward that was unexpected was the ability to have loads of fun, completely sober. In active addiction, I never thought this would be possible.\u201d \u2014 Aaron Emerson, author and blogger, aaronemersonblog.com Laura Low \u201cThere are a lot of rewards to recovery.\u00a0The biggest and best one came to me unexpectedly.\u00a0I grew up with my mom being an addict.\u00a0I never understood why my childhood was the way it was and her actions. Through my recovery I finally received understanding and closure. I saw how hard it is to recover from addiction.\u00a0Though my mom is not here with me, I have finally learned to forgive.\u201d \u2014 Laura Low, blogger for the International Bipolar Foundation, ibpf.org\/tags\/laura-low Kimber Lee Falkingburg \u201cFINDING MY VOICE! Prior to entering recovery I thought I knew who I was. I was afraid to consider myself as anything different. My pain was hiding the real me, and I wasn't capable of bringing to light the brilliance of who I was. I\u2019m grateful recovery was a path which led me through the darkness and out the other side to find a powerful, compassionate, fierce voice of a woman I am proud to know today!\u201d \u2014 Kimber Lee Falkingburg, program manager, Young People in Recovery Mike Gilman \u201cIf I had to pick just one unexpected reward it would have to be the shedding of guilt and shame that comes with your addiction. Yes, you are still an alcoholic\/addict (and always will be) but your life forward is and can be filled with no guilt or shame. A close second would be the mass amount of money I have saved! Lol.\u201d \u2014 Mike Gilman, recovery advocate K. Lanktree \u201cThe most unexpected reward of my recovery has been a massive change in my perspective on life. Losing literally everything I valued has really taught me what is truly important to me and that material items will always come and go; it\u2019s the people you love that you need to hold on to and cherish.\u201d \u2014 K. Lanktree, blogger & lover of all things harm reduction, studiolonline.net\u00a0 Daniel D. Maurer \u201cOne of the most astonishing gifts of recovery is that I now never\u00a0worry about whether I can drive after going out or not. (Not that I cared that much when I still drank\u2014as my past DUI conviction will prove!) I\u2019m a happier person overall, which is nothing short of amazing. Since when I still used I continually chased after trying to make myself feel good, I now find that the \u2018peaks and valleys\u2019 of my life stand at an overall higher average altitude. Life without drugs and alcohol is a gift. Period.\u201d \u2014 Daniel D. Maurer, freelance writer, author, father, husband, son, transformation-is-real.com Jim Wallor \u201cThe most unexpected reward of recovery for me has been the joy of knowing how much I have been able to help others. Knowing my story is as important to others as the stories I first listened to from others when I began my recovery years ago. I am truly humbled and love knowing that I now am able to inspire, teach, nurture or help others in ways I never thought possible. The opportunity to reach people worldwide through my ministry, painofaddiction.com, is nothing short of a miracle!\u201d \u2014 Jim Wallor, addiction, recovery and inspiration writer Abbie Wirick \u201cMy most unexpected reward of recovery has been becoming a responsible and trustworthy person. I am an advocate for those who have no voice. I care for the needs of the individuals in my life, at home and at work. And it feels pretty good. I never would have thought I\u2019d be grateful for responsibilities, but recovery has facilitated my becoming an actual adult in many ways.\u201d \u2014 Abbie Wirick, recovery writer, abbieinwondrland.wordpress.com Adam Daar \u201cThe most unexpected gift of my recovery has been the ability to objectively look back on my past. I am able to see today the person that I was and the life I was leading before I entered the world of recovery. These memories serve as a constant motivation to maintain my recovery and to take the necessary steps to remain sober. Knowing that no matter what, I never want to go back to where I was helps me to stay present and to take my recovery seriously and earnestly. Additionally, it keeps me eternally grateful to all the people who helped me get sober, and grow as a human being along the way.\u201d \u2014 Adam Daar, college student and recovery peer Liz Wilson \u201cThe most unexpected reward of my recovery was my sister\u2019s support financially. Now that she knew I was being conscientious, she was willing to become a benefactor in my recovery.\u201d \u2014 Liz Wilson, advocate for those with dual diagnosis, International Bipolar Foundation Chrisi Hard \u201cThe promises really do come true, one day at a time. I am living a life beyond what I dreamed. I have self-respect and self-confidence. I am so blessed with a great family and friends who truly love, respect and trust me. Maybe the biggest reward is to be the kind of mom my beautiful daughters deserve.\u201d \u2014 Chrisi Hard, recovery and mental health advocate Kristin Waite-Labott \u201cThe most unexpected reward of recovery is the ability to live a life without drugs or alcohol. For the last 11 years (and \u00bd but who\u2019s counting!), I have been able to stay clean and sober, one day at a time, by using the help that my Higher Power places in front of me. And the sky did not come crashing down because I asked for, and accepted, help. I no longer have to go it alone; I have a sea of support in the 12-step meetings I participate in. Life and sobriety are beautiful.\u201d \u2014Kristin Waite-Labott, recovery author Brent Clark \u201cThe most unexpected reward that has come from my sobriety after years of drinking and drug use has been rediscovering who I was. Throughout the years of addiction, I seemed to lose all of my self-pride and ambition. I didn\u2019t care about much and didn\u2019t feel motivated about anything. Once I gave up the drugs and alcohol, I regained the enthusiasm for life that I had lost so many years ago. I find myself motivated to keep building myself into a better person. It has become a new way of life that I can\u2019t get enough of.\u201d \u2014 Brent Clark, addiction prevention and recovery speaker, brentclarkspeaking.com Brittany Shelton \u201cDealing with the difficult things. I imagined sobriety as a perfect place. In reality it is an imperfect place where it\u2019s okay to feel. But the most miraculous part for me has been in loving every second of doing it and knowing that I CAN. I CAN DO HARD THINGS.\u201d \u2014 Brittany Shelton, sober blogger, DiscoveringBeautiful.com Contact Promises Behavioral Health At Promises Behavioral Health, we're proud to help you find the addiction recovery rewards. We provide treatment for a range of addictions, including: \tAlcohol addiction\u00a0 \tHeroin addiction \tCocaine addiction \tBenzo addiction \tOpioid addiction To learn more about the benefits of addiction recovery, contact Promises Behavioral Health today at .