Welcome to the real world! 08/06/12
Congratulations! You’ve given up drink and you’re committed to keeping it that way. You feel better than you have done for a long time and you have a renewed zest for life.
You might believe that you are able to take on anybody and anything. Beware! You will face new situations and challenges. People will disappoint you and let you down. The reality is that everybody has their own stresses in life and just because you are a recovering alcoholic doesn’t exempt you. Just like the rest of the world you will need to deal with pressures and hassles. And just like everyone else you will need a strategy or a plan to manage the tensions without resorting to drink.
Addiction is a selfish disease. I know that alcoholism made me self-centred to the extreme. I had no idea of the impact I was having on those that cared for me. It didn’t matter that my addiction was harming them. The focus of my world was alcohol. But recovery means that instead of looking at your own needs you have to connect with others. Make a decision to start putting something back into those relationships that you have taken from. Grow up and accept that: “It’s not all about you.”
Everyone feels raw and vulnerable at some points in their lives, but none more so than the newly recovering addict. The negativity of the past can leave you resentful and bitter. The fear of the future can cause panic and despair. Discovering who you are and how people see you can cause massive anxiety and apprehension.
The range of emotions that reveal themselves in sobriety can be overwhelming. Get help! Psychological cravings can be managed and after a while the buzz of real life can become more appealing and rewarding than any substance.
Take time to develop a gratitude attitude. Even if you feel that life can’t get much worse, it could. Someone somewhere is fighting for their life and would swop with you any day. Yet things can and will get better when you start to appreciate what you have today. If nothing else be thankful for your sobriety – for with it brings hope and a future.
Accept that your happiness is your responsibility. You have no control over anyone else, but you can control yourself. You are free from alcohol, free from addiction, free to live your life as the person you were meant to be.
Welcome to the real world!