If you are new to recovery, perhaps just out of treatment or in your first 30 days, there are a lot of things you are trying to process. One can’t help but attempt to make sense of how you got where you are today. Even when you know it’s not the best thing for you. Young people in recovery are especially apt to think about how they zigged when they should’ve zagged. Particularly when they consider their peers, or compare themselves to those in their age group who can drink without consequence.
At risk of using a poor choice of words, coming to terms with never being able to drink or drug again can be a hard pill to swallow. But, you would be wise to avoid such lines of thinking or questioning. Because, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what road you took to get to the depths of despair. What’s important is how you plan to stay out of the abyss of addiction. If you went to treatment you learned that dwelling on your past and tripping on your future will only lead you to dark places. Putting you into mind sets that can easily precipitate a relapse.
So, if you know that drugs and alcohol will bring you nothing but heartache (or worse), it’s best to stay focused on the present. And what you are going to do each day to ensure that you don’t return to where you were before you found recovery. One way to accomplish this task is to remind yourself every day that recovery is far better than the alternative. Your worst day in recovery is always better than your best day using drugs and alcohol to cope with life. There is strength and beauty to be found in working a program, and your recovery is worth being proud.
Today, Is What Matters In Recovery
Unfortunately, one’s age is often a major deterrent to recovery. That is not to be taken as if there are age requirements to achieving long-term recovery. Rather, young people often convince themselves that they can’t have a problem because of their age. They sit in 12 Step meetings and look around the room. Perhaps it’s a room full of older adults whose lives had become unmanageable due to drink or drug?
Sometimes young people who are new to the program start listing all the special occasions that are synonymous with celebrations involving alcohol. Graduations and weddings, for example. Times when a toast is customary. They think about how they will be viewed by their peers without a champagne flute in one’s hand. It’s hard to avoid such daydreams, but it is vital to steer clear of them. At the end of the day, it isn’t important what others think about your abstinence. How you feel about your “own” recovery is. After all, if you found recovery at a young age it was not by accident. You found out early on what it takes some people a life’s worth of pain to determine. You are powerless of drugs and alcohol. When you use them, it is but a symptom of an insidious mental health disorder that (left unchecked) can be deadly.
Take Pride In The Freedom of Recovery
The longer you stay in the rooms of recovery, the more clearly you will see that seeking treatment and recovery was a sign of strength. A moment of clarity that not everyone has the privilege of. Your recovery will open doors that drugs and alcohol could only close. Every time you go to a meeting, you are surrounded by people who actually care about your well-being and you get to care about others. Not because of what they can do for you, because of what you can do for them. Your program is truly a gift of the spirit, one that should be cherished. With each day that passes in recovery, you have more and more for which to be grateful.
We realize that some of you reading this may still be battling an alcohol or substance use disorder. At Hope by The Sea we can show you how living a life in recovery is not a burden, but a gift. Please contact us today.