What is it that causes women to relapse even after they have started discovering the gifts of sobriety, rebuilding their lives, and regaining a lot of what they lost in their addiction? Is it despair? Is it lack of faith? Is it simply reverting back to familiar bad behavior because it is easier? Perhaps they lose sight of hope. They don’t really believe things can get better, or that they deserve better. The people closest to them have hurt them, so they withdraw and put walls up. The fear of the unknown overwhelms and chokes them and makes them reluctant to go down a new path. They have built a defense mechanism of forgetting the consequences of their actions. The only thing they feel will comfort them is what they know, another drink or drug.
“Sometimes, especially in early recovery, we concentrate on our losses instead of our gains. We see a chapter in our life closing, and we must mourn. We must leave some friends behind, or say goodbye to a social life we enjoyed. We must give up our addiction, which had become our best friend and only comfort. We may even need to leave our families, at least for a time, in order to concentrate on our own needs.” — Body, Mind, and Spirit by Anonymous
Last week a girl in the facility where I teach a class, who is in early recovery was struggling terribly with the flood of happy, sad, and reminiscent emotions that were happening as a result of the changes she is making in her life. She is actively taking part in her program and is realizing that acceptance of these changes is not easy. It is painful walking through the emotions along this new path of our journey. She was feeling hopeless and desperate and all she wanted to do was buy a bottle of booze, go sit at her parents’ grave, drink, and cry. She wanted to escape the difficult and uncomfortable feelings. Fortunately, she spoke up at a meeting and was honest about what was going on in her head. Afterwards, as she was getting ready to drive away, someone from the meeting came up to her and asked if she was o.k. He asked her if she would promise him just one thing. Would she buy a cup of coffee and take it to the cemetery instead? “Just give it a try, and if it doesn’t work, go back to Plan A.” He asked if he could call her later to make sure she was alright. She bought a cup of coffee and went to sit by a lake and cry. He called later and she was still sober. That is how the program works!
You think to yourself at times “I can’t do this, it’s too much, it hurts, I can’t face this pain, I am not strong enough, I give up!” That’s right! YOU can’t, but WE can! There is Power and Hope in WE!!! Honesty is a choice ONLY YOU can make. A fellowship cannot give you the strength and support you need if you do not ask for help, and tell someone how you are REALLY feeling.
I know when I was actively drinking that I used to choose not to talk about it when I wanted to drink because I didn’t want anyone to talk me out of it. I wanted to isolate, wallow in my self-pity, and drink. End of conversation. I wanted to stop the pain of feeling worthless. (That’s another blog post about all the bullying I experienced as a teenager.)
But when you are blessed with the gift of desperation, it opens a new door to Hope. You decide you have lost ENOUGH. Sadly, you have a chronic and fatal disease that will end up putting you in jail, an institution, or even killing you if you do not change. Today, you know that this old default behavior of using will unquestionably make the situation worse. You have proven this to yourself time and time again. Choosing sobriety and recovery is the only answer.
I love this quote from Seth Jaffe, The Sober Coach
“When the drugs and alcohol are taken away from an addict, it leaves a vacuum which abstention from using does not fill…This feeling of uneasiness will continue to exist until the vacuum is filled with recovery, a healing and awakening of the spirit. Recovery will work for any addict if they have the desire to stay clean and sober above all else and the willingness and honesty to do whatever it takes to have a life of recovery”.
What challenges have you had with your recovery?
If you would like to learn more about the Life Recovery Process and creating what you desire, check out my web page about the symptoms of not living with passion and purpose by clicking here.
I am passionate about helping women to recover their lives and to clearly identify the behaviors that are keeping them chained to the past. Life Recovery Coaching is a process for helping all women become the best expression of their divine.
Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.
Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.