You often hear people in the rooms of recovery say something about watching “the lights come on” in people who are in their first six months of sobriety. As drugs and alcohol continue to leave the system, more functions gain clarity. What happens after 90 days of sobriety is that many aspects of one’s physical and mental health begin to improve.
More clarity in the eyes
Sometimes, the light people refer to is the light in their eyes. By 90 days, the eyes no longer have that hazy film over them. Quite literally the eyes gain a clarity and gleam back which is only possible through sobriety. After 90 days sober, they appear brighter and lighter, conveying more emotion than before.
Improved liver function
Alcohol especially can be damaging to the liver. Impaired liver function has a ripple effect on different systems throughout the body, which can compromise mood or emotional regulation. Liver detox is something people participate in all the time to improve their health. For those in recovery, it is a necessary part of their healing. After 90 days of no alcohol, the liver’s functioning begins to improve.
Changes in digestion and appetite
Experiencing heartburn, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea or other digestive dysfunction is common in early recovery. After 90 days of sobriety, the stomach has had a chance to regulate and heal. With an emphasis on behavioral health focused diet and nutrition, the stomach gains back its natural healthy bacteria, which science has found interacts with mood. Gaining back an appetite, or having a reduced appetite, is a good sign that the stomach is restoring to its natural state.
Sleep can be a challenge during early recovery. Symptoms of withdrawal often include a difficulty sleeping due to restlessness, sweating, shaking, shivering, needing to go to the bathroom, and more. Additionally, it is common in early recovery to experience what are called “using dreams”. The brain is so incredibly addicted to drugs and alcohol that it dreams about using them. Processing through the toxins leaves the brain needing to process untouched thoughts of cravings from throughout the day. Dreams about relapsing are common and often disturbing. Feeling very realistic and frightening, they can be traumatic, making it difficult to fall back asleep. The significance of 90 days sober is that the sleeping schedule begins to return back to a more normal state.
Increased energy and stamina
Once sleep is improved, mental health is improved, and physical health is improved, there is a notable difference in energy and stamina. The sheer exhaustion of early recovery is starting to subside. There is more demonstrated energy for participating in and even getting excited about recovery. Reaching the 90-day sober mark is a huge milestone.
You can recover. Everyone is capable of recovery because everyone is capable of change. Knowing how to make the change is a challenge for everyone in recovery. Design For Change helps each person develop a comprehensive treatment program which meets individual needs and includes evidence based practices targeting wellness of body and mind. If you’re ready to find freedom from addiction, we are ready to show you the way. For information on our treatment programs and recovery services, call us today at (877) 267-3646.