Sitting on the Dock of Addiction
We are not supposed to focus on the past and make statements such as, ‘I should have…, I could have…, I would have….,’ but every once in a while we reflect on what the disease has taken from us. Singer and songwriter Elton John was quoted in the British newspaper The Telegraph that he wished he had gotten sober sooner to enjoy his early career. How much have we given up because of our substance abuse? Some of us have lost relationships, jobs, health and opportunities as a result of addiction.
It may be important to keep the thought of ‘what we have lost due to the disease’ fresh in our minds. This is not to beat ourselves up, but to keep us from thinking alcohol and drugs are a viable option. Viewing what we have lost in comparison to what we have gained in recovery should help us remain sober in our thinking and help reduce the chances of relapse. But for some who have completed drug rehab, things are not going well just yet. What should you do if you haven’t begun to see the fruits of sobriety?
Give it some time. We all end up with tremendous consequences from our addiction, which take time to resolve. Elton John has more than 20 years in recovery and we publicly see additional fruits of his sobriety, evident in his relationship and with his son. Even after we decide to get sober we still have consequences of our addiction to address, which can sometimes be unpleasant. One way to counteract being negative is to say ‘If I continued to use drugs and alcohol, my consequences would be much worse,’ and be grateful that you are not in your active addiction any longer.
What are some ways you stay positive when dealing with the consequences of addiction?