When you get addicted to drugs everything else in your life goes to the wayside. These 5 things too precious to sacrifice to addiction are reminders of everything you lose with substance abuse.

Many addicts I know picked up for the first time in an attempt to cope with physical or emotional pain, trauma and anxiety. No matter if the impetus was prescribed or environmental, no one can foresee just how fast and firm addiction will trap and consume them. As the addiction swells, the sacrifices it demands from us become unimaginable. Has the need to feed the addiction given you tunnel vision? Does it mask the reality of just how much you’re giving up? I’m here to open your eyes and say that these five joys of life are worth too much to sacrifice.

1. FAMILY

Addiction keeps you from spending time with your loved ones and enjoying happy and harmonious relationships. It manipulates your values and compels you to lie, cheat, and steal. The pain and mistrust it causes tears apart families and could even compel them to follow in your destructive footsteps. However, making that sacrifice to addiction is never worth it.

Do you miss and love your family? Do you long to see them happy again? I know that the addiction is NOT who you are. Recovery will bring you back to your genuine self; your actions will reflect the love you truly feel. Reconciliation is not instant or guaranteed, but it is worth the effort to rescue something as precious as your family.

2. HEALTH

From meth mouth to liver cirrhosis, addiction is merciless to your health. The body you live in is the only one you have and it deserves to be cherished. The path of detox and healing will be strenuous, but it’s crucial if you want to thrive both physically and emotionally. Plus, your recovery plan may include exercise, meditation, and other stress-management tools that weave together to enhance your overall health and confidence. This productive, powerful support network will reveal to you just how much of a blessing it is to be alive.

3. ASPIRATIONS

During my active addiction, I could’ve never imagined myself helping others reach recovery. Yet here I am, thanks to recovery! What are your goals? What are the the hobbies that fulfill you and the passions that propel you out of bed to pursue? Addiction becomes the dictator of your life and snuffs out the drive to reach or even daydream about your goals. It’s time to reclaim them and take charge. Countless recovering addicts have established happy, budding lives for themselves and you can join them. You can volunteer, journal and exercise to rekindle the confidence you need to be the best you.

4. SELF-RESPECT

Addiction is embedded in an underlying web of pain, guilt and self-hatred. It will take patience, compassion and willingness to ease these thought patterns and establish a healthy mindset. I believe it’s possible for anyone as long as they cut free from the addiction pushing them into the mud. With help from your therapist, support group, and treatment plan, your self-respect can grow and fill every aspect of the life you create. No one has ever said they regret pursuing recovery.

5. LIFE

We cannot deny it; addiction leads to jails, institutions or death. Research has found that heroin use reduces an addict’s life by an average of 18.3 years. Drugs are unpredictable and an overdose can strike without warning. This life is a precious gift that should be preserved no matter the odds. Although addiction may not be your choice, dedicating yourself to recovery is. Seek help now and talk to a therapist about ways you can make the most of each living breath.

We need to take inventory of all that we’ve given up. Are you willing to let addiction continue to leech the happiness from your life? If not, I urge you to seek professional help and begin recovery.