If an addict or alcoholic gets some time under his or her belt, the larger picture of addiction recovery becomes apparent.
When we first come in, usually we are lucky if we are too numb to fully be aware of what is going on around us. It is not until the fog lifts in some capacity that we realize what a disaster our lives have become.
However, this is not exclusive to when we are using. We can go into these periods of life in sobriety throughout the course of full-service addiction recovery.
In fact, some would argue that these experiences sober can be more difficult than when we are in our disease, simply because we do not have drugs or alcohol to numb us.
For those who do not know, alcoholism and addiction have very little to do with the actual drinking. So what do we do when our own best thinking gets us back in the same pain and misery that we experience when we were drinking or using?
We do the same thing we always do in addiction recovery full-service treatment programs: we admitted that the present situation is what it is—that we have a problem with our way of thinking, and we ask for help.
Luckily, we have a Fellowship of men and women that are only a phone call away at any given moment. Any one of those people is a source to turn to when an alcoholic or addict is in trouble. In addiction recovery circles, even people whose personalities you might not even like (or maybe even not like you) are willing to take the hand of a fellow addict or alcoholic reaching out for help.
We do it because we have been there. Even if it was when we were drinking and using, it is an invaluable experience to help another alcoholic or addict in need, because everyone gets their turn in the barrel—that is just how life works. The difference for those of us in recovery are that we have a list of tools and resources we can go to that, sadly, many people outside of recovery do not have available.
Beyond that, we have to be willing to take the suggestions that others give us. Encouragement to see someone through tough times is one thing, but co-signing delusions of a dry alcoholic or addict is quite another. We have to be careful not to fall into the trap of only asking and following the directions of those we agree with because we are comfortable. As a man once said, “I never learned anything from someone who agrees with me.”
There are times where we are really on fire, and times where that fire burns out. Regardless of where we are on that spectrum at any given time, we do have the power to make changes one way or the other, and reignite the flame that showed us how addiction recovery can change our lives, even after we put the drink and drugs away.