One Simple Change I Made In Recovery That Helps Keep Me Sober
Every day of my life, there’s something that comes up which reminds me that I am an addict. It’s usually something minor, but it triggers the same thought process that once would have led me straight to the dope dealer or the bar.
At 46 years old, and less than two years sober, it’s safe to say that I tend to learn my lessons the hard way. Although I’m a firm believer that anyone can change, it took me a long time to actually do some changing of my own.
Nothing ever changes, if nothing ever changes.
What’s Different Now
What’s different this time? I’ve been asked that question numerous times, and the answer will seem simple to non-addicts. But to me, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and one that I still struggle with in my every day life.
I made up my mind to do something different. That’s it. Sounds pretty simple, right? Not to my addict brain.
My Over-The-Top Emotions
As long as I can remember, I’ve felt too much. My emotions have always been over-the-top, at least compared to other people in my life. I give love and forgiveness easily, but my expectation has always been that I’ll receive the same in return.
When I don’t get the same depth of emotion in return, my addict brain kicks into overdrive. You know what helps me not give a shit? Drugs. You know what helps me feel less heartache? Drugs. Guess what makes it easy to move on? Drugs.
Now that I’m in recovery, I’ve had to start dealing with those deep emotions again. My addict brain screams at me to DO SOMETHING. Numb this pain, do something to make this go away. Because it’s icky. I don’t want to feel like this.
But, I’ve made up my mind not to run back to my abusive ex-lover, Mr. O. That stands for opiate, by the way.
In recovery, I’m always hearing about setting boundaries. It’s funny, but the one boundary that I struggle with the most is my own…not to use, no matter what.
It’s not always easy, in fact it’s rarely easy, but I have to make a different choice every single time that I want relief from my feelings. I don’t want to feel sadness or grief, but I also don’t want to die. So, I do something different.
I’m definitely still a work in progress, but I’m starting to find a new way of life. I’m trying new ways to cope with these intense feelings of mine.
Some are healthy, some aren’t. Some make me feel a moment of relief so I try to remember those for the next time around.
I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m just a walking cloud of sadness, because that’s not the case. I have found a few things that really help and actually make me feel a semblance of joy. Fake it ’til you make it, they say.
What I Do Now
Since Mr. O left my life, I’ve started blogging. Life of an Addict is actually my third blog, and I’m excited to see where it goes. I’ve actually turned one of my blogs into a business, so that takes up a lot of my time and is a great distraction.
I’ve started watching T.V. again, which probably doesn’t sound like a healthy coping skill. Maybe not for some, but for me, it’s a way for me to get out of my head. I find shows to binge-watch and that helps to drown out all of the chatter going on in my head.
I’ve bought a ton of beads and jewelry-making supplies, and every once in a while I get it all out and admire it. It’s something I really want to get into, but I get distracted pretty easily with that activity.
Yeah, I’m lucky enough to have A.D.D., too. As if addiction, depression and anxiety weren’t enough. Oh, and the latest diagnosis, P.T.S.D. Yay, Me.
When all else fails and I just can’t shut this addict-brain down, I take a nap. Sleep can be a blessing and a curse for me, since I suffer from depression. It’s not unusual for me to use sleep as an escape from everything, not just a momentary trigger.
Not exactly a shining example of a recovering addict, but I’m not hanging out with Mr. O, so that’s progress.
One Simple Change
For those of you reading this that don’t struggle with addiction, doing something different probably seems simple enough.
My loved ones that aren’t addicts just wonder when I’m going to get my shit together. Guess what? I wonder the same thing sometimes.
I’m trying people. Really hard on most days. Making that one “simple” change to do something different is starting to find a place in my life these days.
Recovery is full of cliches, but most of have value in my every day life.
- Hocus, pocus, shift the focus.
- Progress, not perfection.
- Nothing ever changes, if nothing ever changes
These days, it’s all about change.
Can you relate to what I go through? Are you trying to figure out how to do something different in your own recovery? Leave your answers as a comment below.
I hope you enjoyed this post and would love for you to visit my website, www.lifeofanaddict.com.
P.S. You’re frickin’ amazing.
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