If you go on the web and search on drug and alcohol addiction there are a lot of resources available. You can find tips on overcoming your addictions, testimonials from people who overcame their addiction, advice on how to manage your recovery, and more. Today, there is a wealth of information on addiction and recovery strategies. Spend some time reading about addiction and how to over come it on the web. If you do you will find that there are some common elements in both addiction and recovery.
Of the millions of people in the world who have become an addicted to drugs and alcohol, the similarities in their stories are remarkably similar. Let’s look as some of the similarities and you can see how they fit your situation and where you stand in the cycle of addiction and recovery.
How Did The Addiction Start?
How did the addiction get started? Was it peer pressure, boredom, insecurity, or a search for excitement? Those are some common sited reasons for taking the first drink or pill. The reason that seems to be the most common is the desire to escape, the desire to get away from the insecurities and frustrations of our lives.
Drugs and alcohol have a powerful effect on us. We are not really the masters of these things, they are our masters if we let them take hold in our lives. Drugs can be and often are overwhelming. Often the first few drinks or pills lead to addiction, the need for more and more. As this addiction starts taking hold, our lives begin to change. We take a look at the world around us and it dawns on us like with a sudden clarity that we have become addicts.
The Moment Of Clarity
The sudden clarity of our addictions occurs at different times for different people. For some it happens in a jail or a psychiatric ward, or hospital, or even at a party. For some, it happens while trying to decide which beer to get at the liquor store or after something somebody said. This is a moment everyone has and it leads to the crossroads with the sign pointing to two directions. Everyone comes across this sign. Everyone stands there, reads it, and makes a decision.
Maybe when you came across the sign, you only had a small thought that said, “you need help” and then you went down the same old road to addict land. If that was the case, the road you went down turned out to be a big circle that lead you back to the same crossroads. Generally speaking, this happens while you are still addicted. When you get to the crossroad and make the wrong turn, life has a way of bringing you back to the same place, giving you the opportunity to choose again.
The Path To Recovery
The moment you take the other path, the path to recovery, is the moment things start changing. There is a small irony here. At first, although you may think that this decision automatically makes things better, and it does in the long run, you need to struggle with all the issues that lead you to the addiction. So, the new fork in the road leads to a series of trials.
Like any quest, to accomplish you goal, you are faced with a series of trials and the outcome of the trials is dependent on your ability to overcome those trials. Just like Odysseus (or Dorothy) or any epic hero adventure, you now on the new road with its dangers and rewards.
This is a challenge that must be taken up. Otherwise, you will just go around in en endless meaningless circle chasing after the next high, unaware and enslaved. Don’t let that happen to you.
Challenges On The Recovery Path
What are some of the struggles that you face on the new road? The easiest is the first. You will physically detoxify. Then comes the hard part. You will need to change your attitude, perspective, feelings, self-image, and actions. All those things that lead to your addiction will be there for a long time, trying to bring you back. You will struggle against them for many years. Ask around. This is the common experience. Don’t be discouraged. Great rewards lie ahead.
Those are the demons and dragons of the road to recovery.
Addict Friends Will Want You Back
Misery needs company. So, all those people who were a part of your addict life will try to get you back. And sometimes you will get lonely and want to go back. This is one of the important challenges. You’ll need to leave these people behind to be successful.
Some of your friends will even say, just have one, it’s no big thing. Don’t be fooled. Staying away from drugs and alcohol is the goal and all the little opportunities and seemingly harmless inducements are trials being placed in front of you. Learn to say no and stay the course. Once you say no a few times you will get confidence and that will create momentum and more confidence as you move further away from the old life that you lived.
Sober Living Is Life Affirming
Let’s say that you have gone through this journey and are now a few years removed from you life as an addict. What are some of the benefits that you can expect?
- Better health and fitness.
- A deep sense of personal accomplishment.
- More money in your pocket.
- A vibrant and meaningful life.
- And so much more.