I previously wrote an article called ” My addiction and how I recovered.” That article was on what lead me to use drugs and how first found my way into recovery. This article will deal with how i stay clean on a daily basis.
Let me start off by qualifying myself, My name is Brian and i am a recovering drug addict and alcoholic. I’ve been clean from drugs now for over 5 years. There’s a lot that goes into me staying clean day by day one day at a time.
I think the first thing people need to do when they want to get clean is admit they have a problem without doing that its impossible to ever get clean. That’s were self-honesty comes in. While using drugs a lot of us addicts aren’t the most honest people especially to ourselves. We Must get honest with ourselves. There are many reasons that we become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Check out Comfort Recovery’s wonderful post Why is Alcohol Addictive? Why Some People Become Alcoholics to learn more about how and why people become addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Now once we’ve gotten honest we need to come to terms with what addiction has done to our lives, it was important for me not to sugar coat it and i believe its important for others to realize what their own addiction has done to there lives. But the hope is now that we can get our lives back and fix some of the destruction we have done. If it was possible for me its possible for others.
Now here’s where i might loose some people but to me this next bit of advice is what saved my life. I believe its crucial to form a belief in a higher power, I choose to call mine “God” I’m not talking about getting religious but just believing in something that is bigger then yourself. For many that something is God. I say this for a lot of reasons. One reason is this higher power will always be with you when your faced with difficult situations like when you run into people you used to use drugs with. That higher power is there with you and your not alone. Another reason a higher power is important is the belief in something good will help do some good in your life and take you outside yourself.
Now if I haven’t lost you the next thing to do is form a support group of family and friends and other people who are in recovery. It’s amazing what sharing with others can do for you. It helps get things off your chest and gives you the chance to be honest with others at the same time your practicing being honest with yourself. Sharing with other people in recovery is important because those people can share what they did when they went threw a similar situation to whatever your going threw. You can find support groups through Narcotics Anonymous , Alcoholics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, SMART Recovery and various other self help group programs. Check those group web sites for meetings near you.
One of the next things that many of us want to do is fix our wrong doings that we’ve caused. And apologizing to others who we’ve hurt. It’s natural to feel that way but before we do this we should probably run it by people in our support group because we have to make sure we are ready for what the other person says once we apologize to them. It’s possible that we’ve hurt other people bad enough that even if we do make an apology they will slam the door in our face. We must accept that if that happens and realize that we did our part by trying to right our wrong but some damage is irreversible. Another person we must forgive is ourselves! We need to be ale to live with ourselves. Once we star doing these things its going to help us begin to feel better about ourselves and realize that we are good people. One thing to keep in mind is we are sick people trying to get better not bad people trying to get good.
Another thing that’s important to me is helping addicts who are just getting clean. What i do is bring a 12 step meeting into a rehab facility. It not only helps the addicts that are in there trying to get clean , it also helps me remember were i came from and reminds me of where i don’t want to end up again. Now there’s a lot of ways to help. You can volunteer in your community at a local food bank or even donate old clothes to charity. The point of all this is to help feel better about yourself. Many of us in early recovery were so beaten up emotionally and spiritually that we need to do something like i just mentioned to get outside ourselves and feel better. For me its bringing the meetings into rehab but like i said it can be anything that helps another person.
Last but not least its important for us to have fun in recovery. A lot of the 12 step groups have picnics and BBQ and a lot of other events. Or we can find things to do when we feel like using like hobbies like crafts or surfing or whatever else we’ve always wanted to do but never did due to drugs. It’s important to stay busy in recovery and have fun. staying home and isolating yourself is not recommended. Some of us may find ourselves wanting to go back to school to get a degree, that’s a great idea it doesn’t matter how old you are. It’s just very important to enjoy life without the use of drugs.
Now don’t expect to do all these suggestions in days or months. Some of them will take a long time. These are things we have to practice every day but look at it as one day at a time and keep it simple. Hopefully this article is able to help someone out there. If you don’t like these suggestions please keep looking and find help from somewhere because life gets good when you get clean. Any feedback or questions are welcome. Thank you for your time.