In the depths of addiction, many of us settle for low standards and unstable relationships that can actually exacerbate our suffering. The discomfort of addiction becomes comfortable. As the illness consumes us, we may even develop other addictions, such as gambling or sex, in an effort to fill the void. We become complacent in our daily lives and give up striving to better ourselves or be of service to those around us.
When we’re ready to recover, we realize that we will inevitably have to make some sacrifices if we want to be happy, healthy and whole.
Many people say, “the only thing you have to change in recovery is everything.” While we believe this is far from the truth, many of us do find that change is a vital component of sobriety. We’ll have to sacrifice our complacency, the comfort of what’s familiar and the ease of being able to settle for less. Recovery requires that we push ourselves, confront our defects of character and challenge our old patterns of thinking. The sacrifices we make will pay off in the end, but while we’re in the middle making them, we can find it so uncomfortable, even painful, that we may be tempted to give up.
Our recovery demands that we become new, improved versions of ourselves.
We are striving to be our truest, highest, most authentic selves. We can’t reach this place of awareness without surrender. One of the things we’ll have to sacrifice is our comfort, our dependence on the self-seeking behaviors we used to make ourselves feel comfortable amidst the discomfort of our pain. We’ll need to temporarily accept the discomfort that comes with sobriety, the withdrawal symptoms, the tension and anxiety that can come from detaching from drug use, the restlessness and stress that are part of the process of breaking addiction’s stronghold. This change requires that we move away from self-reliance, ask for help, and try unfamiliar methods to improve our waking life.
Many people will also have to sacrifice the lifestyles they’ve created to maintain addiction.
When the obsession to use pervades our thinking, we often avoid people who would try to intervene. For some, this involves investing in fair-weather friends rather than pouring into relationships with people who genuinely want to help. Oftentimes, we neglect our work, our interests, and the very things that make us uniquely human. As we recover, we learn to change our behavior and adopt new routines that support accountability and wellness. These routines require that we turn from isolation and learn to freely give of ourselves. This may not always be comfortable, but for the person hoping to cultivate a life of abundance, it can make the difference between life and death.
Our willingness to put sobriety first and to make the necessary sacrifices will determine how successful and lasting our recovery ultimately is. If we’re willing to take honest stock of our lives and face the past without regret, we will undoubtedly be brought into a “design for living that really works.”
Hanley Center is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for mental illnesses and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting wellness. For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1033.