For the alcoholic, putting down the drink is one thing and it’s a great thing, but it’s not all there is to recovering from alcoholism. Once you stop drinking, the work on yourself begins and self-reflection is not always an easy task. Alcoholism affects so many men and women and much of the time when they are ready to surrender to the fact that they have a problem, they are pretty far down emotionally. They may also be experiencing financial or relationship problems.
Various modes of alcohol addiction treatments are available, from detox and rehab centers, to intensive outpatient counseling, and 12 Step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Each of these methods of treatment treat addiction, but also help a recovering addict to contend and get through the negative emotions and behaviors they bring into recovery. One of the first things that recovering addicts learn is that just putting down the drink or drug does not mean you are recovering. You might be clean, but recovery is much more.
It’s a lifelong journey
Recovery from addiction is a lifelong journey. If you’re involved in a 12 Step recovery group, you probably run into a few recovering addicts who seem to have their lives together. Perhaps they’ve been in recovery for many years and have worked on themselves consistently. You might look at them and wonder why you aren’t feeling the same way they are. The answer is that they’ve been on their journey to self-discovery and growth much longer than you.
Sober is one thing, but recovery is another. What investment are you putting into your recovery? Are you attending counseling? Are you going to 12 Step meetings? Do you have a sponsor? Are you putting any time into learning how to live life without your drug of choice? Chances are you have plenty of negative thoughts and behavior patterns that could use some adjustments, so dive right into recovery head first and watch how you go from struggling to strong as you work a recovery program.
Most people begin drinking or using drugs as a way to cope with some sort of negative feelings. Sure, they may start out in a social setting, but over time they can develop an addiction to the substance. After using that substance for a while, they can suffer things like depression, anxiety, anger, bitterness, and more, so even after they stop using their drug of choice, those issues are still there. This is where the real journey begins and it requires a journey inward to deal with such emotional issues.
As you journey inward via a counselor or 12 Step program, you will have to contend with your past behaviors, attitudes, faulty thought patterns, and negative emotions. It’s not easy to do on your own, so reaching out for help will make it less painful. Deep healing will come as you commit to a life of recovery and personal growth. Those that will not commit to such can live a sober life, but they are still miserable inside.
Don’t be a slave to addiction. Commit to living life sober and investing time and energy into personal and spiritual growth. The fruit in your life will be well worth the effort.