You have probably heard someone say the phrase, “Recovery is worth it!” Worth what? What’s it? Is recovery really all that difficult? The truth of the matter is, early recovery is not always a straightforward process. It is a time marked by emotional highs and lows; a time where you will experience intense growing pains and learn more about yourself than you ever deemed possible. The truth is that early recovery is not always easy. When someone says, “Recovery is worth it,” they mean that the gifts of addiction recovery are well-worth the initial struggles and the discomfort that goes hand-in-hand with immense personal growth. But what are these gifts? Why is recovery worth the effort and the initial struggle?
Addiction VS. Recovery
If you have experienced addiction firsthand, you understand just how devastating it can be. Active addiction strips people of their humanity and turns them into lost and lifeless shells of their former selves. It breaks the soul, ravages the body and cripples the mind. Those in the throes of active addiction will likely tell you that anything is better than being a slave to a substance – even death. Dark, but true. Addiction recovery, on the other hand, allows individuals the opportunity to exercise self-discovery and self-realization in a way they never deemed possible. It allows for the reclamation of soul, body and mind, and facilitates lifelong growth and authentic happiness. Recovery is a beautiful process, one that will always – yes, always – change a person’s life for the better. We have yet to hear someone say, “Well yeah, being authentically happy, making my family proud and thriving in life is fine and all. But I kind of prefer spending entire days laying on the bathroom floor in a pool of sweat.” There is truly no comparison. If you are still on the fence about seeking treatment, take a look at the following gifts that addiction recovery will inevitably bring.
The Gifts of Recovery
You will wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day – not hungover or dopesick. Imagine the possibilities!
You will regain the trust of your loved ones, and – get this – you will actually have the ability to make them proud. While active in your addiction you likely disappointed quite a few people (including yourself, of course). Recovery will allow you to rebuild burnt bridges and heal wounded relationships.
You will gain confidence in yourself and build self-esteem. In active addiction it is very likely that you grew to hate and resent yourself. Recovery will transform those feelings into feelings of self-love and appreciation.
You will be able to set personal goals and follow through with them. You may have had goals in mind while active in your addiction, but the chances are that you never followed through with them because you lacked motivation and drive.
You will start to feel like you’re a productive member of society once again. During active addiction, you will likely begin to feel like you are useless, hopeless and helpless. These feelings will wreck your self-esteem and leave you feeling isolated and alone. When you start to get more established in your recovery, you will slowly but surely begin feeling optimistic and self-assured. Eventually, you will recognize and authentically believe that you have something to contribute – because you do!
You won’t feel physically sick all of the time. Again, there is truly nothing like waking up in the morning refreshed and ready to take on the day.
You will learn how to laugh. What the heck does that mean? Belly laughing is something that those who have never struggled with a severe substance abuse disorder might take for granted. Recovering from an addiction and going on to acquire several months of recovery will be an amazing experience in and of itself, but the first time you genuinely belly laugh and can’t catch your breath you will understand the true beauty of recovery in a way you may never have before.
There are many, many more gifts when it comes to addiction recovery, and each gift you receive will be unique to you. For example, maybe you are an artist, and you stopped painting and drawing when you picked up drinking and drugging. Recovery will not only allow you to dive back into what you love, but it will provide you with an entirely new perspective. Maybe you used to love basketball, and this hobby completely fell by the wayside when your addictive disorder started getting more serious. Not only were you preoccupied with other things, but you likely could not physically participate in any kind of athletic event. Those who are struggling with active addiction are generally not the epitome of health. Once you get sober, you will be able to physically take part in the activities that you used to enjoy.
Surely there must be a shortcut, right? There must be a way to skip over the difficulties that early recovery presents and jump right into the good stuff? Hate to break it to you, but… no. Personal growth always comes from some sort of struggle, no matter how short-lived. If you want to reap the benefits of recovery you must do the work. What work? It is hard work, but it is significantly easier than active addiction. It might seem like attempting to lead a normal life is impossibly difficult while you are actively using or drinking, but the truth is, being engaged in an addiction is more difficult than anything else you will ever do. The good news is that compared to active addiction, recovery is easy. The other good news is, this work will always be laid out for you. You will never be thrown into a brand new situation with nothing but a few words of encouragement, “Good luck! You’ve got this!” You will always have a clear cut plan and a group of compassionate individuals around to support and encourage you along the way. From medical detox and inpatient treatment all the way through aftercare and the eventual transition into fully independent living, you will always have guidance accessible. One of the most valuable things you will learn is that it is completely okay to ask for help when you need it. In fact, it is necessary. No one expects you to navigate early recovery on your own. You will have a structured recovery program, developed by a team of clinical professionals and addiction specialists. As you grow and evolve, this plan will change. You will be given instruction every step of the way, and if you ever feel like you need more instruction, do not hesitate to ask.
Chapel Hill Detox
If you or someone you love has been struggling with substance abuse or dependency and is looking to begin an entirely new way of life, we at Chapel Hill Detox are available to help. Our comprehensive medical detox program is an essential first stage of every recovery process. To learn more about recovery or our specific detox program, please feel free to give us a call today.