When you think about, all of alcoholism and addiction recovery is about is adapting to new solutions.
In our active addiction, we used drugs and alcohol as our solution for everything.
Our drug of choice was the hammer, and the whole world looked like a nail. We would self medicate for any reason, using any excuse.
If we were upset or angry or afraid, we wanted our drug of choice. If we were happy and celebrating we wanted to use as well. Our drug of choice became our universal solution. It fit nearly any situation for us.
In recovery, we obviously have to move on and stop relying on that old solution of getting drunk or high all the time.
And yet, we are still going to encounter problems in our life, right?
Oh yes. In alcoholism and addiction recovery, you keep facing new problems.
In fact, you can know for sure that as you progress in your recovery, you are definitely going to be facing unique and surprising problems that you did not expect.
Why is this the case? Because that's just life. You either die and cease to exist, or you plod forward and face new and diverse problems.
Life is guaranteed to keep serving up new problems to you. Period. This is inevitable.
So the addict or alcoholic has a standard response to problems, and that is to self medicate with their drug of choice. Everyone wants to reach for their handy solution, for the thing that they know will work. And for addicts and alcoholics, that means relapse.
So the question is, how can you embrace new solutions in recovery, such that you do not have to resort to relapse? How can we embrace this new of living, and this new method of seeking solutions?
First of all, I think it is important to realize the moment of surrender when you first give the idea of recovery a chance is a huge turning point. At that moment when you surrender, any solution becomes possible for you again because you are so defeated by addiction that you are willing to take nearly any advice.
From that moment, hopefully you ask for help and get directed towards inpatient treatment. Going to a 28 day program is the start of a new journey for you, and is in itself a major solution to a lot of different problems such as: How do I get through the next 28 days clean and sober, how do I learn how to live my life clean, where do I go for support in early recovery, etc. Going to inpatient treatment is a really good choice in early recovery and is almost a necessity because it provides so many solutions to the problems in early addiction recovery.
Now after you go through an inpatient treatment program your job in early recovery is really just beginning. When you leave a 28 day program you suddenly are faced with the reality that you are totally and completely free to do whatever you want, and the temptation of relapse is suddenly right there in your face again.
Therefore you have to adapt again. This means that you need to find new people to be aroundpeople who are living a life of recovery and who are positive influences. You also need to find new places to go tonamely, AA or NA meetings or some other form of support group. And you need to stay away from places and people that might trigger you to want to relapse.
Not only that but you also have to start doing some serious work in terms of inner transformation. One way to do that is to work through the 12 steps of AA or NA with a sponsor. Another way to do this is to get with a skilled therapist and start working on your issues with that person.
Many people would rather avoid dealing with these sort of issues in early recovery, and so they hide from the real problems and fail to do this sort of work that I am talking about. This is a problem because eventually these issues that they have failed to confront are going to be the thing that triggers them to relapse one day.
The only way to remain clean and sober in the long run is to work through your problems, issues, and hang ups so that you take away your excuses to relapse.
One of the most important decisions that I made in early recovery was when I decided that I was only going to trust the advice and wisdom of other people, rather than to listen to my own thoughts and ideas about how to live my life.
In other words, I had to figure out how to trust others and to disregard my own addictive thinking. Because if I only listened to my own ideas in early recovery then I never would have made it. I would have relapsed.
So I made a deal with myself, that I would only trust other people, and that I would do what they told me to do. So I listened to the people at AA meetings, and I listened to my sponsor, and I listened to my therapist. I started to take their advice and to do what these people told me to do.
And my life started to get better and better. In fact, it started to get so good that I almost got a little bit spooked out by it. How was it possible that other people could tell me what to do and how to live my life, and it was turning out so darn well? How could they know what I needed, or what I wanted?
But it was working. So I continued to do it, and I even became excited about following advice from others. I knew that it would lead to good results so I became much more enthusiastic about the idea of taking advice from others.
So as I continued to do the work in early recovery, my results continued to get better and better. Suddenly I was living the solution rather than dwelling in the problem.
And the way that I had arrived at this point was by listening to others, being humble, and taking their advice and suggestions. I could not do it on my own because my addictive mind would have sabotaged me and screwed everything up. It was only through trusting others that I was able to discover this new life for myself in recovery.
I continue to seek new solutions in my life every day. This is critical because as soon as a recovering alcoholic or addict ceases to look for new solutions they are going to run into a problem that might just lead them to relapse. The only way to avoid this outcome is to stay humble and keep seeking new solutions.
This implies that we have to keep learning. If a solution is new then that means you have never used it before and do not know how it works. Therefore in order to use any new solution you have to learn something, right?
This requires humility. When we are adopting a new solution it is going to feel awkward and foreign at first. This is normal. Then after we become more comfortable with that given solution, the problem has been solved or it has evolved into a new problem. So again, we need to stay humble and be willing to keep learning new things about ourselves.
The post How to Adapt to New Solutions in Addiction Recovery appeared first on Spiritual River Addiction Help.