Recovery Isn’t Easy
On of my favorite sayings goes a little something like this – I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.
I’m not sure who first uttered those words. Maybe it was an athlete or a coach or somebody like that. What I am sure of is that saying applies 100% to recovery.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about recovery from addiction, from an eating disorder, from self-harm, or from anything else. Recovery is difficult. It’s fraught with emotional valleys and tough terrain.
Of course, recovery’s also filled with the most wonderful moments I could ever imagine. In my experience, though, we remember the challenging times more than the good ones. I think that’s just how life is.
Recovery is Worth It
Even though it’s difficult at times, recovery is SO worth it! I’m preaching to the choir here, I’m sure, but let’s explore some of what makes sobriety so wonderful.
First, and most importantly, there’s the freedom! Imagine being imprisoned for so long that you forget you’re imprisoned. Imagine forgetting what the outside looks like. The sun, the breeze, the bright blue sky…you don’t remember what any of those are.
That’s what active addiction and alcoholism are like! We’re stuck in a self-imposed prison of fear, anger, resentment, self-pity, and selfishness. We’ve been stuck there so long that we’ve forgotten freedom even exists!
So, to get sober is to be free. Even during the tough times, the times when a drink or drug is screaming our name, we’re still free. We’re bathed in the sunlight of the spirit, to quote the Big Book.
Then there’s the relationships recovery gives us! Did you know I never once had a real relationship before getting sober? Well, with the exception of my parents and grandparents. I had selfish motives in mind, coconsciously or unconsciously, during every other interaction with a human being.
And then I got sober. I suddenly realized there was an entire world (really, the entire world!) of people I could help. There was an entire world of people I could talk to with nothing selfish in mind. I could do something for someone and except nothing in return!
That was an eye opener to say the least!
What other blessings did I receive as a result of recovery? Well, they’re pretty much endless! I gained acceptance. If something doesn’t go my way, well, I don’t have to like it. What I do have to do, though, is accept it.
I could never do that in active addiction and alcoholism. I could never accept anything, good or bad! Today, I can accept anything. Sometimes it takes a little kicked and screaming (remember, recovery isn’t easy!), but I’ll eventually feel the truth of it in my bones.
I gained love, which goes back to being selfless. I learned how to love someone with my entire heart. Want to know the secret? It’s as simple as putting someone else’s needs before your own. That’s love! Of course, then we have to watch out for codependency, but that’s an article for another time!
I gained emotional stability. I’m no longer a rollercoaster of up’s and down’s. I’m no longer angry, scared, happy, and sad all within ten seconds! Today, I’m able to experience an emotion without running from it. I’m able to embrace everything this world makes me feel.
Sometimes these feelings are good and sometimes they’re bad. But guess what? I’m able to sit and experience each one. What a blessing!
So remember, it’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be so worth it!