Recovery: Everything Must Change
There are seasons in life.
We age, we meet friends, we meet lovers, we celebrate with family.
We celebrate milestones.
Marriage, first jobs, divorces, babies, accomplishments, success, failures, life is full of everything imaginable.
The only thing constant that we can rely on, is that as time passes things change.
As you pass through recovery the change will almost always seem overwhelming.
Everything you once knew as familiar is different, or sometimes gone.
You are walking away from one life and starting a new one.
You need to change your brain back to normal.
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Most likely the new life you have will be full of new people, new experiences, and maybe even in a new place.
Sometimes we are resistant to change because we are so scared of the unknown.
We can get stuck in one place, or even regress back to where we were before.
In recovery we have to make sure that we move forward.
We have to do this for ourselves no matter what or who we lose in the process.
Because it’s the only way to go.
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Forwards or Backwards
Maybe you are someone who is stuck. You are scared because becoming sober will mean that you will lose everything you are familiar with. You will lose all your friends, your partner, the places you hang out at, the events you go to. You are giving up the common denominator that you shared with all the people around you, the thing that got you to this place. The place where you knew you couldn’t go on any further because you were harming yourself. The place where you couldn’t go any further because you hit rock bottom.
Maybe you decided that you needed to change because you have others that are counting on you and you let them down. Whatever your reason is for thinking that you need rehab, whatever your reason is for wanting to be sober, you need to grab onto it and never look back. There is nothing left for you where you came from.
There is nothing new to be learned, nobody new to meet, no places to see, no room to grow. You’ve already walked the walk and talked the talk. You will find no new information by going backwards. You need to take what you learned and go forwards. There are new people there. People wanting to challenge you, people that will stimulate you, people that will love you for who you are and not what you pretend to be while high.
The hardest part during rehab is that you must change. But the thing is, rehab will set you up for positive change. A study defining the stages of rehab by the NIH said one of the early processes of rehab is instilling hope into the person. Hope helps you shed a skin and grow a new one. It’s changing negative thought patterns. It’s changing all of your thought patterns. The patterns that you developed craving your drug of choice, getting it, and then doing it. The chase of the drug that led you to dark places. Places where you met people who did not care about you. People who would use you. People who would throw you under the bus in a second if it meant feeding their addiction. When you think of all the negative things it may seem like change is the obvious thing to do. Yet, when we have to reach into the dark we often feel so scared that we retreat back. We are scared we will not find a light. We are scared that what we don’t know will hurt worse than what we know.
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Right now you are sober. Right now you are making the commitment to sobriety. Right now you are making the commitment to go through a rehab program. You are learning to reach in the dark, knowing there is a light. You are never put in situations you cannot handle. And change is one of these situations.
As you let go, it will become easier. In the beginning you just need to focus on one breath at a time. If you are any of these things It will feel normal to feel empty in the beginning. But the best part of feeling empty is that you are ready to fuel up on whatever comes your way. You just dropped a huge load off of yourself that was dragging you down, pushing you to be the worst version of yourself. Now that you are sober and recovering you can focus on becoming the best version of yourself or figuring out what that even means.
Little by little
You can rip the band aid off and start anew or delay the inevitable. Change will come your way whether you want it to or not. We see change all around us. If you live in the northern hemisphere you experience seasons. The only thing that remains the same is change. One day you are summer. Warm, golden, and full of life, the next you are fall, bright, beautiful and slowly shedding to nothing. It’s better not to resist change. Would mother nature stop the ground from thawing in spring? Would mother nature stop the trees from changing in the fall? Change brings beauty.
While in recovery, change is natural. Change can hurt. It can feel good. It can feel uncomfortable. It is ok, because those feelings you will pass. You will go on to shed several skins in your life. It will be full of people, some who will stay and some who will leave. All of them will teach you something about yourself. Know that your life is moving in the direction it should be while in recovery. Each day is a gift, especially with your new sober life.A study by the NIH says that fear of the unknown is one of the common causes of relapse.
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The fear of the unknown will always be there.
Rehab will help heal you and spark a realization that no matter what happens you will be ok.
Change is just a part of life.