Written By: Fiona Stockard
Living Life on Life’s Terms Isn’t Always Easy
I Was An Addict Before I Started Using Drugs
My mother claims that, even when I was younger, I needed outside stimulation. Living life in a normal way just wasn’t doing it for me. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV at home, but when I went to friends’ houses I watched a lot! I remember my best friend complaining that I wasn’t fun to be around because all I’d do was watch TV. She used to say things to me and I was so entranced I wouldn’t hear her.
To me, this is an early example of my difficulties with living life on life’s term. It’s an early example of my alcoholic tendencies. Guess what? Drugs had the same effect on me as TV. The world suddenly wasn’t so boring. I wasn’t interested in living life for what it was. I found ways to escape, first as a young girl with TV, and later as a teenager with drugs and alcohol.
An Escape from Life on Life’s Terms
Drugs took me away from the world I lived in. In the beginning they made life more exciting. With them came a ton of new experiences and people. Many of the drugs I tried made the world change. I thought they were giving me a new perspective.
What I was unaware of was that they also shortened my perspective. The group of people I hung out with became smaller and more selfish. We stopped talking about the world. Instead, we spoke about the made up experiences in our minds that we found while high. Drugs became our sole topic of conversation. It was this kind of thinking that landed me in rehab.
Understanding the Concept of Life on Life’s Terms
Another part of the thinking that lead me into rehab was how I’d always feel like there was something I was missing out on. I’d always feel like there was something more than living life at the moment. I didn’t understand the concept of life on life’s terms. I had distorted beliefs about what I deserved and what my life should look like. It was like I was always waiting for something to happen. The problem with this way of living is that life was happening and I let it pass me by. By not accepting life for what it was, I was choosing to ignore it. By making the decision that life was boring as it was, and only drugs could enhance it, I was missing the actual opportunities that life provides.
Living Life in Recovery
Humans are hardwired to endure. Our bodies have survival responses programed into them. For thousands of years, we produced adrenaline so we’d avoid death in dangerous situations. Today, we don’t use these instincts as often as we used to. Addicts and alcoholics sometimes create situations to stimulate these senses. We create challenges in a world where we may not need to. When we stop creating fake realities to stimulate our senses, or fake problems to make our lives more interesting, the world can reveal what it really is. I’m constantly amazed by what I can do when I let life be, now that I’m living life in recovery.