recovery - what they don't tell you about recovery

What They Don’t Tell You About Recovery

February 6, 2020 10:09 pm - Published by

Most people will avoid the truth of recovery, unless it portrays some amazing fantasy-land where life is just automatically perfect and everything falls into place. In the grand scheme of things, yes, life in recovery will be a lot better and exponentially more fulfulling, but it doesn’t make life’s obstacles disappear. In fact, you are clear-minded enough to see them in all of their glory now; the plus-side is, you’re clear-minded enough to deal with them in a way that is effective and manageable.

Here are some things they don’t tell you about recovery that you might also need to know:

  1. The outside world doesn’t care if you’re sober.
  2. They won’t encourage you and will often be absolute jerks to you about it. Think of sober as you would think of someone being a vegan. No one cares you’re a vegan except another vegan. No one wants to hear how you got vegan, how sad your life was on the street eating a cow before you became vegan. No one cares that you don’t have leather shoes, that you won’t eat eggs because of your new found life or that you will only eat soy cheese because you’re so spiritual. I repeat, no one cares.

  3. You are never cured.
  4. You never graduate. there is no checkered flag at the finish line. If you die sober, there will be no awards ceremony in heaven. If you’re very lucky, your dog will be there to greet you, as we know that all dogs go to heaven.

  5. Recovery, and people in recovery, can be quite negative.
  6. Besides the obvious that many people in recovery have depression and anxiety, it goes beyond that. Old timers are generally very grumpy and think it’s their purpose on earth to be angry old curmudgeons who bark orders, because some guy 20 years ago was mean to them and mean equals love in some twisted toxic relationship they had in the 1960s. Or newbies who are mad at the world for having to work to stay sober. Or the chronic relapser who is either mad at himself for using or blames his relapse on everything besides his own actions. Then there’s the overdose and death we deal with every day. The strained relationships from our past actions. The traumas we’re dealing with and the reason we all used in the first place. Not to mention, we’re broke all the time and we don’t know where our next meal is coming from, how we’re going to pay the rent, how we can pay to get our car fixed or how we’re going to pay for our medications.

  7. The constant chaos.
  8. Yes, our life sober is less chaotic, but at first it sure isn’t and there’s drama and trauma everywhere. Between your sober living roommate trying to get you into a negative contract, to your boyfriend trying to get you to sneak out, to the manager getting high: you’re swimming in chaos. Even in group, or at a meeting, there’s constantly someone talking about their drama and trying to involve you in it. it’s like for Christmas you got a whole new extended family and every single person is a drama queen.

  9. Your recovery takes work and action.
  10. No one gets someone else sober. No one keeps someone else sober. No one can do the work for you. You must to the work and keep doing it, even if it’s uncomfortable. There are no successful shortcuts in recovery.

  11. You’ll have lots and lots and lots of FEELINGS.
  12. You’ll be emotional. You’ll find yourself crying for no reason or laughing inappropriately. Why? The drugs and alcohol you’ve been consuming for years were numbing you from everything. It was shutting down your central nervous system and your brain for so long you’re just not used to feeling anything, then suddenly BAM, here’s real life again. You have to deal with people again, you have to deal with you again. You will be an emotional wreck a great deal of the time or just be emo about everything for a while. It will pass, but it will pass like a kidney stone.

I’m just glad I get to be the beacon of truth on this day, and tell you the little things about recovery that no one made very clear to me before I started. I do just want to end on the note that all of these little inconveniences are nothing in comparison to how insanely amazing living in recovery really is.

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