The idea of supporting yourself in alcoholism recovery comes down to two main issues: Supporting yourself in terms of resources (finances), and supporting your own recovery.
Let's take a look at both ideas in terms of your search for sober independence.
First of all is the idea that you need help in order to recover. This is, in fact, what defines alcoholism in the first place: If you could simply walk away from alcohol without any issue at all then would you even need a recovery program? Would you need rehab or AA meetings or a sponsor? No, you would simply walk away from alcohol and move on with your life.
But you can't do that. And that is what defines your alcoholism. Not the patterns of drinking, not how much you drink or even the effect that it has on you. Only that you need help in order to overcome the problem. That is what truly defines your disease: The fact that you cannot out-think it. You cannot overcome it alone.
Admitting this can be a huge challenge for some people, largely depending on their own personality. Some of us like to think that we can conquer the world by ourselves and that we do not need any help. The truth is that every alcoholic needs help in order to recover. You cannot do it alone, and if you try, then you will quickly learn the harsh realities of self sabotage (that is, if you are a true alcoholic). At some point you have to break down, surrender, and ask for help.
Once you ask for help, I highly recommend that you make a decision to start ignoring your own ideas and instead take the advice of the people who are trying to help youfriends, family, peers, sponsors, therapists, or people at AA and NA meetings. All of those people have an interest in seeing you do well, and all of them can tell you exactly what you need to do in order to not relapse and screw your life back up.
Your goal is to listen to this community of support and do what they tell you to do. In order to pull that off you have to let go absolutely, you have to surrender, you have to give up on your own ideas. Keep in mind that your best ideas about how to pursue happiness did not get you anywherein fact they made you miserable. Your addiction led you to total chaos and misery, and it is time to try something else. In order to do that you must make a firm decision that you are going to get out of your own way and instead listen to the advice of others.
Going to inpatient rehab is a great first step in getting started with this. When you check into an inpatient treatment facility, you are taking a leap of faith. You are effectively facing the fear of sobriety head on and telling yourself I am going to go into this with an open mind and see what comes of it. You know that you will be in a safe environment for 28 days without any access to drugs or alcohol, and that can be intimidating. You have to be at rock bottom and in a state of total surrender to be able to face this fear of sobriety and agree to go to inpatient rehab.
But once getting into rehab, your job is not finished. In fact, this is really just the beginning. Working through surrender and making that agreement with yourself to ignore your own thinking for a while is really just the price of admission. In other words, you need to break through denial, surrender, and then ask for helpall before your real journey has even begun. The day you walk into that treatment center is the first day of the rest of your life, and you will likely look back on it one day and recognize it as such.
You may believe that it is weakness to attend an inpatient rehab center, but this is wrong. Only the strong and courageous alcoholic will be willing to take this bold step into rehab. Something like 80 percent of all alcoholics never make this leap of faith. It takes courage to walk into rehab. You have to push yourself a bit, dig deep, and summon the courage to make this massive change in your life.
Now after you have gone through the inpatient treatment process, you will eventually leave rehab and start learning how to live sober in the real world. At that point, you will probably still need some help and some support.
I have found that if I am willing to keep doing the next right thing in my sobriety, good things happen for me. Furthermore, I have found that if I have the right attitude and I am willing to help myself then other people are more than willing to try to help me as well. This was true on so many different levels when I was in early recovery: People taking me to meetings, people being willing to sponsor me, people offering me work, people willing to help me with my education, and so on. Everyone seemed willing to help me once they could see that I was serious about helping myself. There is a difference between an alcoholic who is still stuck in addiction and is trying to manipulate people and see what they can get, versus someone who is genuinely humble and is seeking some real help. You want to present as the latter of these two, and that should not be a problem if you are in a true state of surrender.
A lot of this comes back to the surrender state, because that is what sets you up for success in your recovery. Being in a state of surrender is what allows you to ask for help, it is what allows you to make the call to a treatment center and make an appointment, and it is what allows you to walk into an AA meeting, sit down, and declare I am an alcoholic. All of this takes a lot of guts, and no one with even a tiny ounce of pride left in them is likely to look for an easier, softer way.
As far as supporting yourself financially in recovery, nothing could be easier compared to your active addiction. Whatever is sustaining your life during addiction cannot help but improve when you are in recovery, and no longer handicapping yourself with a costly chemical dependency. Many treatment centers have you do an interesting exercise: You attempt to write down and tally up all of the money that your alcoholism has cost you over the yearsthe cost of the booze, the lost jobs, the sick time, the court fees, all of it. Once you do a little digging and come up with that monstrous amount of money that has been wasted on your disease, it is pretty darn easy to see how getting by in recovery is going to be much easier. Justifying the cost of treatment is a no-brainer when you compare it to the cumulative cost of your alcoholism.
So I want to urge you to take action. Make a bold leap of faith, leaving your fears and worries behind, and dive into sobriety. Get on the phone right now and call a treatment center, asking them for help and advice. Do whatever you can to get into a 28 day program, because this can be the start of your transformation, and the path to a better life. All of the support that you need can stem from your trip to an inpatient treatment center. They will likely introduce you to a therapist, to AA or NA meetings, and you can follow up with those resources once you transition to aftercare.
Give yourself a chance. Give yourself a break. You deserve happiness and freedom. Call for help today.
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