Sobriety can suck. Recovery can suck, but addiction is worse. Once you go through addiction treatment, you can understand why people say recovery sucks, but accepting the reality of sobriety or recovery is a part of being realistic. Recovery is an act of embracing who you are and working towards your future, which will not always be fun—but will be worth it!
The Benefits of Addiction
Can you think of a positive aspect of addiction? Damaged relationships, unhealthy environments, toxic people, or loss of love for yourself can define what life with a substance addiction entails. Addiction isn’t fun.
Why was life before recovery great? Maybe the only thing great about life before recovery was not facing your feelings. Alcohol or drugs numbed your thoughts and emotions. Substances gave you numbness, an illusion of freedom, or false self-confidence. You could do things without worrying about the consequences; often, you did. Then you woke up the next day, and the memories came flooding back. Feelings of guilt, embarrassment, or remorse could consume your day.
What’s worse than those feelings? Perhaps not remembering what you did, waking up in jail or another strange place, or finding your well-being compromised.
Before you can begin your recovery journey, you can take a mental inventory of your life. Review your relationships, work, health, and legal statuses. Ask yourself why you want to enter treatment. Then call a center that offers medically supervised detoxification (detox). Take advantage of the therapy you receive, the coping skills you learn, and the aftercare plan you create.
The Reality of Recovery
How many people told you addiction treatment was worth it? These people waxed poetically about how great you’ll feel and how wonderful life is after treatment. If you go into addiction treatment thinking when you finish active treatment and enter the recovery phase, life is smooth sailing; think again. Life is excellent and can have its challenges. The truth is, you can have a great life and understand how you react to situations while using healthy coping skills. On the other hand, thinking everything is acceptable when you complete treatment is unrealistic and can set you up for disappointment. Come to terms with your version of recovery.
Being Honest With Yourself
The reality of recovery varies. One belief is you won’t begin to recover until you are completely honest with yourself. Your substance addiction didn’t happen overnight. On the path to addiction, there are many small steps. Maybe you were trying to cope with depression, anxiety, anger, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Perhaps you wanted to escape the world and its responsibilities—whatever the reason you took steps towards your addiction to a substance.
Being honest with yourself also includes accepting your feelings. When you were using a substance, maybe it was because you felt anger or jealousy towards others. They didn’t appreciate their luck—their health or ability to have one drink and stop. You felt your substance use was justified because you deserved to feel good, numb your feelings, or escape your life. Unfortunately, your reliance on substances pushed away your chances of achieving what you wanted. Addiction treatment is where you come face to face with your addiction and begin to heal.
Success in Recovery
Finding yourself in recovery is essential to healing yourself. You learn your behavior patterns, incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into your daily routine, and find therapies that help you cope with the uncertainties of life. Alternative therapies like yoga or meditation can also guide you through the difficult work of owning your responsibilities in your relationships and work. Accepting you have responsibilities and addressing them can suck. However, when you determine healthy responses to the expectations and duties you or others have, you are successful. A part of a successful recovery is redefining what success means to you.
Tips For Success
You can no longer use the definition others use to define your success. You define your success.
- Set your mind to achieving one goal and break it down into small, simple steps. Take your time, allow for setbacks, and be kind to yourself. You can continually readjust your path to the goal. There may be days when the most significant thing you do is get out of bed; good for you! Each day is different so take them as they come.
- Make changes in your life. Nothing can change if you don’t change. Minor adjustments like eating a healthy breakfast, going for a walk, or being creative make a difference. Soak in your potential.
- Invest in yourself. Find what makes you happy. Take up painting, surfing, or the drums. Do something you always wanted to try but were afraid to try. You may not excel at first, or you may find you don’t like it. Keep practicing or try something else. Any investment made takes time; explore the possibilities.
- Have a sense of humor. Life isn’t perfect, and you will trip, fall, or have an embarrassing moment; learn how to laugh at yourself and the situation.
Open yourself to whatever recovery means to you. You are imperfect, and that’s why you are perfect. The things you call flaws are what make you beautiful. Healing is what makes you perfect. You set a goal (sobriety), made a change, and invested in yourself (treatment). Life after addiction isn’t all rainbows, butterflies, and puppies, but it is pretty good if you keep doing the work to maintain your sobriety.
Sobriety does suck. Recovery isn’t fun; it’s work. However, when you compare how substance addiction affected your life and how sobriety changed your life, maybe you can agree addiction is worse than sobriety. You can change your life by taking the necessary step—entering substance treatment. A medically supervised detox program that includes therapy can guide you on your way to recovery. After you finish treatment, you can face the reality that life isn’t always ideal; it’s ever-changing and has responsibilities. You need to work on the skills you learned in therapy, accept responsibility, and set goals. Alta Centers provides the care you need to begin your recovery. We have a medically supervised detox program, inpatient rehab, dual diagnosis treatment to help you on your recovery path. Our center, in the Los Angeles, California, allows you to feel comfortable while enjoying your privacy. Call us at (888) 202-2583 to learn more about how to start your recovery journey.