Commitment in Recovery – by Aaron Montgomery
f you were like me in addiction, your level of commitment to anything outside of drugs or alcohol didn’t exist. It didn’t matter if it was your partner, your parents, job, or best friend; you weren’t going to be there for them when it mattered most. You may have made statements and told that person things like, “Yes, I will be there”, but eventually you gained the reputation that you weren’t going to follow through with anything you committed to.
Letting people down and disappointing them was a full-time job. Yes, sometimes there would be consequences for not following through, but usually you would just add to the mountain of guilt that you were already carrying. I remember when my wife was pregnant with our son, that it was important to her that I be at the doctor’s appointments with her. I had every intention of showing up to those appointments, but it seemed like every time I needed to be there, I would choose drugs over showing up. Of course this hurt her every time that I wasn’t there and I felt guilty, but I would just use more to numb the pain and keep moving along.
This is the insanity of addiction. Instead of dealing with the mountain of problems and issues that we have, we end up just creating piles of dirt and suppressing our feelings about it so we can move on. Life doesn’t work that way. In early recovery it is important to start unloading that dirt pile and find the foundation to start over. We must take responsibility for our behaviors and that includes the past and present.
Commitment to our addiction every day was easy, but in recovery having commitment to those other things in life is important for us to discover. It could be a scary thing to think in early recovery that you are never going to use a drug or drink again. Why would that be a scary thing you think? Obviously, the consequences brought us to a point of needing help so we reached out, so why would we want to reach back? This is the nature of the commitment we had with our addiction. It became a part of who we were for so long that imagining a life without it seems unrealistic.
Recovery isn’t just getting off drugs. If you think that is what it is then you misunderstand. There are people that have never touched a drink or drug that could use some recovery in their life. It doesn’t mean to be clean and sober, but recovery is a new way of living life. Recovery is living with a clear conscious and living in freedom. Recovery is taking care of yourself and being able to walk with your head up because you now have integrity. Recovery is setting goals and achieving them. It’s being a father, a wife, a son to those who love and care for us. Recovery shows up for your friend in need and it shows up for the baby doctor appointments.
Recovery is a commitment. We should be just as much committed to our recovery as we were to our addiction. Nobody ever said that you had to commit to recovery tomorrow but committing to your recovery today is what matters. Waking up every day, looking in the mirror, and making that commitment to yourself is huge. Committing to recovery means that you must accept that you can no longer make excuses. In our addiction we had some of the best and some of the most bizarre excuses to give for not showing up. How many people ever said, “I am going to the gas station, I will be right back”, and 4 hours later you finally made it back with an excuse?
It is important to focus on our recovery and not allow ourselves to begin rationalizing our past behavior. When we do this then we are more likely to relapse and start drinking and drugging again. Nobody wants that. If you want to be successful in recovery, then you need to adopt the attitude that drinking and drugging is not an option. No matter how stressful things get or no matter how depressed you may feel, it is no longer an option to cope with. How many times in your addiction did you go out of town or was in the hospital maybe, you were in some place that you knew getting high or drinking wasn’t an option for a day or two. That is how it needs to be, so accept that. If you are anything less than 100 % committed to your recovery, then you are more than likely going to give into those cravings when they come along.
Every day that we are committed to recovery, the more we are going to realize that we have more to lose if we ever give up on ourselves. It is through our commitment to recovery to take care of ourselves in this life that we become increasingly aware of and believe in our own values as a man or woman. Finally, it is through our commitment to others that we become more aware of how valuable they are and how important sustaining love with others in relationship really and truly is. Make the right commitment today.
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, contact an addiction specialist at 606.638.0938 or use our confidential chat function at www.arccenters.com. We are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Hope and help are just a phone call away.