Addiction and Recovery
I am sometimes asked what would happen if I did choose to drink again. The truth is, I don't know, but just as I don't know what would happen if someone was to open the door on an airplane mid-flight, I'm pretty sure that I also don't want to find out.
Alcohol and drug addiction affects more than just user. It also affects family and friends, who are usually the ones to pick up the pieces time and time again, and who (in the worst case scenario) are left dealing with the grief of losing a loved one due to their addiction.
You know that feeling where someone you love has been lying to you? That feeling of having the rug pulled from under you? Imagine that feeling generated by the person you love most in the world. Then imagine it happening again. And again, and again.
I personally interact with hundreds of women on a regular basis who have lived, and are living, through the shattering discovery that their partners and husbands have a secret sexual life. I am committed to giving them a voice so I asked them what they would tell you if they had the chance. Below is a summary of the major points they wanted you to know.
I don't remember whether this tattoo was Hebrew or Chinese. And I wouldn't be able to recall it again if l saw it now. I asked him what I meant. He replied. "Change or die". To this day it's the single most accurate sentence I've ever heard regarding recovery. Any type of recovery.
I entered rehab being told that I had a 3% chance of surviving the addiction. I had to dig so deep inside myself to believe that I would not be a part of the other 97%. I began my journey to recovery 10 years ago.
Extreme self-care for me involves evaluating every decision against the question, "Is this a loving thing to do?" and then making a radical choice to eliminate the things that don't make me feel good. Easier said than done, of course, but practice makes perfect.
I make no secret of the fact that I don't like addiction counsellors. The methods they work from are totally outdated. They are obsessed with dragging up the past instead of focusing on the present... most of all I dislike them because an addiction counsellor is a role undertaken by people who leave Rehab and don't know what to do with their lives.
Resolutions take determination, tenacity, strength and commitment. Too often we feel bad about ourselves or ashamed if we don't make it or delay a resolution. Whereas there is another way of looking at it.
Addiction is like a chasm opening up before you and enticing you to keep walking despite the dire consequences ahead. Not that you are likely to realise the dangers at the time. My addiction 'of choice' was gambling.