DON'T GET FOOLED | REMEMBER THE SOURCES
Your life of sobriety presents opportunities that would never be available if using. While there are many rewards for being sober, one of the greatest is a return of self-confidence. This confidence shows-up in many ways. It might come from the ability to hold a job, the conclusion of legal issues, better physical & mental health, or a host of other developments. The result is often the creation of a new identity, a newfound life purpose, and more green in the bank. The fact is, as you progress in sobriety and continue to clean-up old messes, life transforms, and a sense of self-worth begins to return. By addressing previous life failures, you are creating freedom that brings about a new perspective to the world and your future. This is one of the many joys of recovery, and something well deserved considering all the work required to remain sober.
However, this increased sense of self must be evaluated honestly. When you gain a new perspective on life, it is easy to lose sight of what brought it about. Your newfound confidence can falsely persuade you that life is now under control; that your addiction is a thing of the past. The feeling of having money in your bank account or no longer being a servant to the justice system can create a freedom that allows the ego to return and humility to withdraw. It is at this point when you need to be brutally honest about what is the real source of this self-confidence. Is it the money and freedom you now have or the dedicated efforts of working your recovery program?
BEATING THE STATISTIC
There is a reason relapse rates for addicts are so high in the first 12-months of recovery. During the first few months of recovery, dedicated addicts in treatment are solely focused on staying sober. This concentrated effort, in combination with the difficulty of remaining sober, keep self-doubt and humility top of mind. However, as time passes, and personal and professional growth occurs, an expanded sense of self appears. When sober and living responsibly, the results are often more money, freedom, dating, and stability in your life. These outcomes often create an increased sense of self. The error many in early recovery make is that they associate success with external outcomes, like money, rather than recognizing it is their dedication to working the program that has generated this new satisfaction for life. Explained differently, it is not the money, freedom, or dating that creates self-confidence; it is working the program that produces this. The money, freedom, and stability are simply a result of being dedicated to staying sober.
The danger begins when someone in recovery puts a focus on these external items because that usually translates into less attention on their recovery plan. But the truth is, as more money, freedom, dating, and stability enter your life, the stronger your efforts in recovery need to be.
Recovery indeed allows you to receive all the greatness of life. However, part of life’s greatness is the change and chaos it continually delivers. This change and chaos bring uncertainty, and uncertainty can create fear. If not careful, this fear can lead to regression; meaning, a return to the comfort of old habits. Believe it or not, but bringing about more money, freedom, dating, and stability, without advancing guidance, can create increased levels of stress and anxiety in your life. The reason is, they tend to generate more complexity through the creation of new challenges, deeper emotions, and tougher questions that you have yet to deal with when sober. This complexity causes a higher level of uncomfortableness/fear, which are both toxic to the addictive mind. If you have been spending less time on your treatment plan, due to greater attention on the success sobriety has delivered, a return to old habits and the destruction they provide is a real possibility.
For this reason, addicts in recovery must recognize the difference between what are the results of being sober and what is the source of one's sobriety. Additionally, it is essential to remember that the more life success you have, the more efforts your recovery demands. Your efforts in recovery should always outnumber the goodness they return. This is how you remain on the right side of the relapse rate statistic.
ABOUT CHOICE RECOVERY
Located in Mesa, Arizona, Choice Recovery is an integrated addiction treatment center focused on helping individuals who are struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. Addiction can be a brutal disease, and the Choice Recovery team, most of whom are in recovery themselves, are well aware of the challenges an addict faces when getting clean. For this reason, the Choice Recovery program is built to elevate addiction care through a variety of treatment methods that stimulate engagement and participation in one's recovery. For more information about our program visit www.choiceiop.com or call us at 480-527-0337.