If you’re struggling with addiction, and promised to seek help, later – after the holidays are over, later is here.
It’s time to pay up. Making good on your promise is always scary. I felt overwhelmed walking through the front doors of rehab. I was dope sick, homeless, and owed everyone money and yet I was more afraid of giving up drugs and going to treatment than I was of dying. That’s the insanity of addiction. Us addicts aren’t afraid to die; we’re afraid to live.
Addicted persons procrastinate. Their intentions are good, it’s the action part they lack. If you’ve promised your family you will get help in the New Year, you’re probably scrambling to come up with another plan; one that will buy you more time. But that’s the thing… You don’t have more time. The next time you get high could be your last.
You wish you could just go to sleep and wake up when this whole mess was over. You have a love/hate relationship with your addiction. With dope, you feel normal, sort of. But the sense of euphoria you used to get has worn off. Now you just feel numb. The drugs/alcohol you gave up your life for, is killing you. As you think about getting sober you might wonder, what will your life be like without substance?
You imagine a permanent scowl etched on your face as you sit drenched in cool sweat feeling anxious and miserable for the rest of your life.
You think about all the things you have to give up… Fun, laughter, love, romance, excitement, adventures, socializing with your buddies, beer league, travel, beaches, exotic getaways, golf games… But wait… Haven’t you given up those things already?
You can’t imagine how you’ll get through your day without a little pick me up or wind me down. And what happens when you have a bad day, or you can’t sleep?
Seriously, how do those clean and sober folks do it? And better yet, how do they do it with a smile on their face?
Over-thinking it gives you a headache. You know you’re at war. Only this war isn’t played out on the field, it’s going on in your head. You can give up on yourself and give into addiction, or you can recover. You don’t like either choice. But they’re all you’ve got. You know what needs to be done, but you don’t want to do it. You’re scared, and you don’t like feeling this way. You want results NOW. You want to be well, but you don’t want to do the work or give anything up.
When recovering from addiction, you do have to give up things. You give up misery and self-pity. You give up resentments and blaming. You give up hopelessness and despair. You give up failure and self-loathing. You give up pain and suffering. You give up hurting yourself and the people you love.
It doesn’t matter if you believe addiction is a disease or a choice, one thing’s for sure, it is a process. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight. There is no get well pill, injection, snort or drink. It’s like building a house. Any carpenter knows without a good solid foundation, your house will fall down. That’s what rehab is all about. It’s your foundation. It’s where you find out why you’re doing the things you’re doing and what is driving your illness.
Without the right information, you’re likely to fall back into relapse. Shortcuts will get you loaded. Personally, the tug-of-war-going on in my head was far worse than the reality of walking through the front doors of rehab. I thought it would be tough, but instead, it was safe. I worried getting clean would be boring. In truth, it’s life-giving and freeing. I discovered this disease lies. It plays with your mind to keep you sick and stuck. Your addiction doesn’t want you well. It wants you dead.
Lucky for you, you have people who love you and will hold you accountable. Recovery is not a punishment, it’s an opportunity. Rehab is the ultimate gift – the gift of life. You’re starting a brand new chapter in the book of you. 2019 is your year to shine. So put down the dope and hold on. You’re gonna love being clean and sober!