The most important thing about going to treatment for addiction is just simply getting there and staying there. That alone proves to be difficult for many. Treatment is where we first begin to experience real discomfort and have to face it directly. As addicts, we all must learn how to deal with fear or being uncomfortable without using substances. It used to be the only way we knew how to deal with those issues but it proved unsuccessful, obviously. Treatment exists in order for those in recovery to build a foundation and have a jumping off point; it by no means is the solution. But it begins to scratch the surface. I personally have been to treatment a handful of times, this time was different because of how I handled life upon discharging from treatment. Those first few weeks are so vital and can really get you on the right path or can easily be the start of your downfall.
The mistake I usually made early on in recovery once I was discharged from a facility was that I did not have my priorities in order. I had learned that I suffered from something that centers in the mind and was an internal condition. Upon learning that, I made the mistake many times of trying to fix the outside instead of worrying about what was going on inside. It's a trick our minds play on us a lot. As we enter a detox we are desperate and willing to do absolutely anything that we are asked to do. Once we have slept normally and eaten normally for a few weeks, we start to feel better and desperation starts to fade away. I had fallen victim to this so many times, feeling good and making selfish decisions again without thinking it would return me to my addiction. A lot of us have to learn this hard lesson in recovery, how tricky and deceiving our mind can be to leading us to a drug again. My intentions/plans in my mind were always good but they always led me back to relapse. My plans would usually involve gaining material things or making me feel physically better. While these were important things they should not have been top priority.
I mentioned desperation, thank god I was graced with the gift of desperation that lasted even when I left treatment this time, as opposed to being tricked by my mind like I mentioned before. Unfortunately there is no formula for desperation. For me personally, I had just lost my father unexpectedly and was already at a low when he died, him passing away sent me to the lowest I ever been. Once I arrived in treatment and gained a little hope, I gained inspiration to do whatever it takes to get sober this time and used my past experiences as lessons. The most important lesson being my mind does not know what’s best for me. When I left treatment this time, my mind told me the same old stuff about going to the gym, making lots of money and finding a new relationship. I ignored it, I knew I had to address my internal condition this time and I could not do it by myself. If I could I would have done it years ago.
After acknowledging that I had no idea myself how to go about recovery and that I need help, life became a lot smoother and simpler. It was my form of surrender, I really was sick of steering my life around in the direction I thought was right. I really just wanted whatever else was out there to take control so I simply let go and sought out guidance. As soon as I truly felt this way, I met the right men in my life who had years sober and were very willing to help me out, recovery just sort of works out that way. My top priorities became things like step work, making meetings, networking with other sober men, practicing new principles in my life, staying accountable along with various other things that had to do with changing myself on the inside for the better. This journey in recovery was so different than my other tries and the results were outstanding. If you are like me, and have tried and failed in recovery many times… take an honest look at where you came up short, if you are being honest with yourself I'm sure you will find a lot of glaring holes in your past attempts. The beautiful thing is that you still have an opportunity to change your life, starting today no matter how hopeless you are.