“So what do we do? Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.”
~ Lee Iacocca
Congratulations! If you have chosen to seek help for your addiction, you have made a conscious decision to do the very best thing possible for yourself, your family, and your future. If you put in the work, life is definitely going to get better.
But at the same time, if you have been dealing with this problem for any length of time, you are also probably pretty anxious about what comes next. Your newly-rediscovered sobriety may feel unfamiliar, and you may be wondering what your life is going to be like without the drugs and alcohol.
Addiction Is about Loss
One of the hallmarks of the disease of addiction is how much it takes from its victims. In a very real sense, addicts and alcoholics don’t take drugs or take a drink – those substances take…and take…and TAKE.
- Addiction takes your will – you lose your ability to choose when and how much you drink and use.
- Addiction takes your soul – you find yourself doing things you never thought yourself capable of, just to feed your addiction.
- Addiction takes your sanity – you feel compelled to drink and/or use, even when you know that it is destroying everything in your life.
- Addiction takes your money – it costs you in the obvious way – buying the alcohol/drugs – and that can cost thousands of dollars a month. But addiction also means fines, lawyer’s fees, medical bills, lost wages, missed promotions, car wrecks, evictions, etc.
- Addiction takes your family – inexorably, addiction causes you to throw away every relationship you ever had, through breakups, divorce, loss of custody or parental rights, and being avoided or even disowned by your loved ones.
- Addiction takes your life – addiction is a progressive, fatal disease that begins with painful-yet-harmful hangovers, but soon progresses to sickness, brain damage, heart problems, liver disease, increased cancer risk, and the very real possibility – and eventual probability – of overdose.
Addiction Recovery Is about Regaining What You Lost
Recovery from addiction also means recovering – getting back – all of the things that addiction took from you. Although the reality is that some things are irreplaceable, it is also true that as long as there is life, there is hope.
- You recover your will – you learn how to avoid triggers that make you want to use and drink, and you discover how to substitute positive thoughts and behaviors for the negative ones that always hurt you.
- You recover your soul – when you take an unflinching inventory of your moral strengths and weaknesses, you also make an honest admission about the harm you have done. More importantly, you become willing to make direct amends for that harm.
- You recover your sanity – when you are no longer under the direct control of your drug of choice, you will be able to make decisions that benefit – rather than hurt – you and your family. You learn new coping skills that keep you away from old self-destructive behaviors.
- You recover your money – not only do you stop throwing your money away chasing the next drink or the next high, you also avoid the collateral expenses – no DUIs, no lawyer’s fees, no court costs, etc. Because you are sober and stable, you are able to get that promotion or raise at work. You will no longer be holding yourself back.
- You recover your family – instead of being absent because you were lost within an active addiction, you can be enthusiastically present for your loved ones. Recovery won’t magically erase a divorce, but it will allow you to have more positive relationships – ones that aren’t in jeopardy of being destroyed by substance abuse. You can’t erase bad memories, but you can be in a position to create new, happier ones.
- You recover your life – with prolonged abstinence, your body will start to heal itself from all of the damage caused by your addiction. The right drug rehab program will teach you how to eat properly, exercise more, get proper rest, and reduce stress. Over time, your brain chemistry will even begin to rebalance itself.
Open Yourself to the Possibilities
In the end, that might be exactly what recovery from addiction is all about – rediscovering what life truly has to offer. Drug addiction and alcoholism deprives you of that experience, severely damaging your sense of your own value, your own potential, your own strength, and your own worthiness.
For many people new to recovery, it can be quite a shock when they start feeling real joy, serenity, and hope. And that is where a wonderful challenge comes in – learning how to become ready to receive the abundance that will be coming your way.
Life during recovery is not easy. It requires dedication, effort, and patience – qualities that aren’t usually present during active addiction. There will be difficulties, slips, temptations, and bumps and bruises along the way.
Here’s the point – while addiction leaves you with nothing, recovery will give you back even more than you ever put in.
That’s what happens when you choose recovery.
If you need help regaining all that you have lost to the disease of addiction, contact AspenRidge Recovery today, and start taking the first steps on the journey of recovery.
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