January 21, 2016
Why is Life in Recovery Better?
Some understand it, and unfortunately others don’t.
The disease of addiction grips the heart and soul with such a firm grasp, that it forever leaves a scar wherever its fiery fingers last latched onto. There are people who will seek help and others which will not. But seeking help is part of the larger road ahead, a road with bends, peaks, dead-ends, and shortcuts. Addiction is like the green vines growing and spreading across the side of a desolate building. With time and inattention, it will eventually consume the very thing it’s growing on. But with help, the vines can be cut down, and like the weeds that vines are, be fought back.
This is about the fight back, the fight to keep those vines at bay.
After treatment, life can seem fresh and anew, like a tune-up on an older car. There is a certain euphoria that comes with the time immediately following the completion of treatment that helps many, but unwittingly fools others. Without maintaining the time after treatment, many relapse back into the very hole they meant to escape. Addiction is a battle that gets easier with time, but a battle that should never be forgotten or overlooked.
The mistake many make with treatment is assuming it is the end all be all of their addiction. Sadly this happens mostly to those that eventually end up relapsing back into their despair. Rather, it is a time to rejoice in a newly found energy and strength. A point where battling addiction should become clearer than it was ever before. A time where the tool bag is loaded and ready to combat any problems that might arise.
The new life in recovery is mostly seen as a time where new bridges would be built, without dismantling the old bridges. It only leaves avenues of which to sneak back too, open as a fallback or a “just in case”.
Finding Yourself in Recovery
Many describe this time as a time where they rediscover old hobbies and loves of things they used to once do, people they once loved, and a time of renewing oneself. The hole many seem to sometimes fall in is in the mundane of life. Life after treatment should be a more fulfilled and endearing life than the one, one leaves behind. Life by its very nature is repetitive and in that repetition, we tend to see ourselves and our old habits. Repetition is the closest the common man can come to understanding the perils of addiction. It cements itself in our very identity because of our tendencies to gravitate to patterns and rhythms. Seeing reminders of our old selves and old habits, are typically what many describe as one of the hardest issues to overcome in life in recovery. However, it is because our fear of the new and comfort with the old that the problem even arises.
It is this detrimental human characteristic in us all, that mostly holds us down, it tends to keep us hidden and afraid, to never be able to taste the sweet nectar of the new. Breaking the chains of the mundane, rests only within ourselves to do. It can only be overcome when we let go of the fear of the new.
We must all understand that a fear of the new, a fear of letting go of old friends, old habits, old places, or even old lives, are all a part of a healthy human psyche. But in that, we must learn that to succeed we must overcome our very evolutionary nature and biology, because that’s where the bravery in us all lies. Addiction and the life it entails, is part of a pattern we humans are in itself addicted to. Life in recovery must be understood as a break from that part of our nature.
Treatment will forever tend to be irrelevant if we succumb to the temptations of the past, temptations of the familiar.
Learning Balance in Recovery
Many find that a life in recovery requires a semi-different life altogether. Lives of the past are, for many, riddled with reminders and wrong decisions of everything from life. From mistakes taken in the workplace, by friends, substances, it could be anything. Seeing those past reminders sometimes will make anyone long for what at the very least was certain to them.
Some people fail to see the fire they’re in until looking back at it.
Some in recovery when talking about the past, seem to look at it dismissively. As a time where they couldn’t, but for the fact of pictures and the such, believe they ever did or believed anything a younger them did, and that is probably the healthiest way to look at a past time. Even older people will mention how they could hardly believe they thought of a certain outfit as “cool” looking back, it seemed like a completely different person existed in that time that seemed was only connected to them by name alone.
We all tend to believe that what we believe about anything today, is unlikely to change somewhere down the line, but just in that aspect, we must look to our past to prove that notion wrong. In a matter of 5 years time, we tend to change our attitudes about the world dramatically.
We change our political views, food preferences, hobbies, anything given enough time. Such is the way we change after treatment and through recovery, it should always be looked at in the same manner.
The Journey of Recovery
The path ahead most certainly is going to seem arduous and tedious at times, but one is to always remember that progress is slow. One is unable to point to a specific area in time where we changed our mind on a given theological or political issue, it will always be a gradual process.
When talking about the given severity of addiction, one should be able to easily look back down a time when they couldn’t, but for the evidence of pictures or the like, believe that, that was even the same person.
It happens with all aspects of life and it will happen in recovery looking back.
Once in recovery the only path is forward. There is only a one way street that nobody but ourselves can deviate from. It must also be remembered that the longer one remains sober, the less likely that individual is to fall into relapse. Embracing the recovery process as a part of a new life is always required, it is detrimental to living the life we want and see fit.
The road ahead is paved with the ideals we lay before us, and deviating from the path we make for ourselves, will only lead to dead-ends and roundabouts.
There are only 2 ways life in recovery and the road it leads to can end.
One is giving in to the fear, giving in to the old and falling back into the clutches of addiction where a false comfort awaits. Two is to fully embrace the new and barricade the past, laying out brick by brick the road we want, making the future completely within our control, no longer in the hands of history.