So, you've been sober for awhile. It seems like things are easier every day..and then, there it happens, you fall into a spiral of depression and the "poor me's." As the saying goes, "Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink..."
Addicts in recovery don't get the luxuries that others get...self-indulgence, self-pity, delusional thinking, you know...all the fun stuff! That being said, what is a "passerby" of emotions for the average Joe is a death wish for the recovering alcoholic or addict.
So, at first site of these negative thoughts, make sure to take some positive actions BEFORE the relapse occurs. Increase meetings, call your sponsor, do something nice for someone else and by golly DO THE DISHES.
Addiction presents many personal challenges. One of the hardest challenges to overcome is taking the step to get well. There are many available rehab programs to choose from. Finding the best one for you can be difficult and the decision can seem overwhelming. One alternative to the drove of public rehabs is choosing a private rehabilitation program. One of the perks to choosing a private rehab is having constant, personalized support. This option also offers confidential services that are almost impossible to find in corresponding public-run rehab centers. Having anonymity allows for security and peace of mind. Although addiction can effect anyone, the stigma attached to being 'an addict' can be socially harmful as well as personally hurtful.
Many people in early recovery from alcohol and drug abuse have marked family difficulties. This reality exists for a variety of reasons. Alcoholism is a familial disease and one that adversely affects everyone in the person's life. Those around the alcoholic/addict become unreasonably controlling, angry, nagging and, literally obsessed with the whereabouts and behaviors of the addict. This type of behavior is simply addiction in another form. Obsession with the alcoholic/addict allows those people to escape themselves the same way that the alcoholic/addict is escaping him/herself with substances.
For these reasons, it is highly recommended that everyone in the family seek help. Don't be upset, however, if your family members or close friends do not want to seek help along with you. While it is very helpful to a recovering addict if his/her family seeks help, it is certainly not a requirement. Any member of the family can change, providing that he/she is willing to do the necessary work and behave differently. This includes the family members who want help even though the alcoholic doesn't and the alcoholic/addict who desires to stay sober even though the family members want to stay the same.
Addiction is a disease of the mind, which lies to the addict and convinces him/her that everyone is against them, and that only the addict has everything under control. Additionally, it is a disease that will actually think two, three or even four times about quitting, even after loss and even potential death have ensued. It is absolutely essential that the person who wants to get sober does not try to do so on his/her own. Staying in the addict brain alone is like trying to be a professional swimmer without arms and legs. It simply cannot work. With additional resources and support, however, both parties can find success.
One of the important factors that many people both in the field of therapy and in early recovery neglect is an understanding of the medical and psychological components of the disease of addiction. People often get mired into the logistical, and, of course, essential aspects of treatment but the education regarding how and why a person becomes addicted to drugs is often lost. One major distinction -and mistake- in the treatment of addiction as opposed to other diseases, such as diabetes, is that healthcare practitioners tend to skip the educational component of the treatment.
In order to fully respect and understand both the severity of the disease of addiction, as well as the most successful methods of treatment, a person in early recovery, and their families and their current healthcare practitioners who are new to the disease should seek educational opportunities to understand the exact processes that are taking place in the addict's body and mind. The American Council on Drug Addiction website is a good starting place for gathering both information and additional resources. The more timely the research, the better, as science is always evolving and new information is always emerging.
While it is not recommended that a recovering person dismantle all his/her relationships and isolate from the world, it is recommended that he/she recognizes that these environments and situations did not lend themselves to healthy choices or ultimate happiness in life. Most people in early recovery have, in fact, lost a great deal of material things and, more importantly, all of their self-worth.
The important thing to remember is that the people who want you to be healthy and safe are truly looking out for your best interests. If people in your life are opposed to your recovery (and this may include certain members of your family) chances are that they are mired in their own illness and/or not available to contribute to your desire for a better life. Remember, if you are not clean and sober, you will lose all those people/things in the long run anyway. Why not try something different?