Change is a constant in our lives. You make decisions, follow different paths, fail, and start over. Change is constant; learning is continuous.
When you decide you need or want to change something in your life, you enter into a new chapter—a new season. Your life includes stories—some you want to share and others you want to forget. Everyone has uncomfortable chapters in their life, and everyone flows through chapters of change. Change occurs like the four seasons; each chapter is a new season.
Chapter One: Fall
Autumn is when the trees shed their leaves, and plants prepare to renew their energy. Your life is like the fall. Once you decide to change, you begin the process of shedding negative behaviors. For instance, when you choose to stop using substances, you start dropping harmful habits.
Think of your decision to change like the end of the summer. At the end of summer, there are moments of joy, sorrow, and the acknowledgment of facing change. You can enjoy the juncture, but you know the shift in seasons is approaching. As summer turns to fall, many will change their habits to fit the new season. When autumn approaches and then takes hold, summer and its rituals pass by.
The first cold day of autumn often pushes people to make changes in their daily habits. The moment you have the realization you need to change your harmful habits is like that first cold day. You know you can make the necessary adjustments. At this moment of realization, you take control of how you decide to write this chapter in your life.
Chapter one is the beginning of falling forward. The first step towards stopping substance abuse is taking control and becoming the author of your life. You are the one who can revise your story. Falling forward means stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the journey to a new you. You will experience some failures, but that’s a part of falling forward; you keep going despite failing. Each failure is an opportunity to learn. Shed your fear of failure, your inhibitions, or your harmful habits, like a tree shedding its leaves.
Chapter Two: Winter
For some, winter is when nature has lost its glory and is in a phase of deep sleep. What many don’t see is the work going on inside those trees and plants. The roots continue to grow, forming a solid foundation, taking nutrients from the earth as they wait for spring. Winter is a pivotal time for growth.
Ask yourself why you turned to substances. Was there a need for acceptance, happiness, or control? How can you change your life to achieve your needs without harming yourself in the process? Substance addiction therapy is like winter. You learn to grow, build healthy habits, and take in the information gained in individual and group therapy. You understand why you sought substances as a way to fend off feelings of depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders. Therapy builds a root system that takes in why you gave your control to others or a substance. You let outside influences become the author of your life.
During your addiction treatment, you begin to store the energy you need to take control back, understand your triggers, and address your mental health needs. Revel in this chapter of your life; you are becoming the author of your life story.
Chapter Three: Spring
Spring is when you can feel hope, renewal and anticipate seeing winter fade away. You come out of addiction therapy with a renewed sense of control over your life. However, even in spring, there are cold snaps. These cold snaps are a reminder that even nature can take steps backward.
When you begin to grow, push past the winter snow, and the fall leaves, you challenge yourself to embrace change. The push to go forward can lead to a halt in growth or a relapse. If you hit a lull, an obstacle, or relapse while in recovery, remember you are falling forward. The failures, or as one could say, the imperfection in perfection, are expected. Keep moving forward. A moment of doubt or relapse is falling forward, and it is a time to begin again, taking what you learned as a lesson of how not to write this chapter. Build on the imperfections; you can grow from them.
Chapter Four: Summer
As you cruise into the summer, you lose the layers you have around you; layers that provide comfort or warmth. Removing layers allows you to become aware of how you interact with your environment. You can feel, see, or taste everything. Everywhere there is something new, exciting, or interesting. The urge to try something new and push past your comfort zone is exhilarating. Even in the summer, you can find some new growth while appreciating the roots that keep you grounded.
Recovery is constant; it provides the roots to keep you grounded while also encouraging you to try new things. When you remain active in group meetings or individual therapy, you are feeding the roots of your change. New adventures or activities are the branches that continue to grow because the roots provide sustenance. Yet, even in the summer, there are moments when you can fall forward. Keep writing your chapter by moving forward as you revisit the past in therapy.
The cycle of the seasons means you can always review and change parts of your life. Life is continuously changing; keep falling forward, and keep writing your chapters. Shed the areas in your life that are harmful or don’t bring you joy. After you process the shedding of habits, go into hibernation. Allow a pause between letting go of unhealthy habits and starting new traditions. In this pause, you will learn and grow, creating strength in your story. When spring and then summer roll into each other, find the comfort, joy, and control found in being the author of your life. Fall forward into recovery and spring forth to the brighter days ahead!
Life is constantly changing. You do not know what is coming your way, but you often allow what is behind you to determine your present and future. Instead of giving your control to other people or substances, learn how to shed, replenish, begin anew, and grow. Every moment there is a chance to clear our past and start the process of change. You can take control and become the author of your life. Substance addiction recovery is a part of becoming that author. Treatment helps you shed your harmful habits, restore your health, begin again, and grow strong. Alta Centers provides the substance addiction services you need to be the author of your seasons of life. We provide you with the privacy and comfort you require to leave substances behind. Our detoxification center has trained addiction specialists to guide you through the detox process. For more information, call (888) 202-2583.