You Have Something Worth Celebrating
When you enter the process of recovery from addiction, life changes.
It’s a simple fact.
Change is scary for a lot of people, especially when you are focusing on a newly sober lifestyle.
Changes will happen regardless of whether you are in recovery or not, but the worry about maintaining sobriety can be overwhelming.
I know for me, personally, how scary change is when I entered recovery at BriteLife Recovery.
I worried a lot.
Am I going to blow it?
How often should I go to a meeting?
Is there a right or a wrong number of times?
Britelife Recovery’s immense resources (and amazing location) made my process smooth and full of the support I needed to continue my process.
Keeping yourself in line is a full-time job.
When they say one day at a time, that’s what they mean.
And, when you have a full-time job, you are most successful when you have a big goal, but you use this goal every day to complete the smaller tasks that lead up to accomplishing the goal.
It is the same with the process of recovery.
Sometimes, I am a one second at a time person.
I cannot think too far ahead; otherwise, anxiety can overtake me.
I’ve met people in recovery who need to keep themselves in check minute by minute.
While keeping yourself in line can be stressful, one of the most important things I learned through Britelife Recovery was to take pride in my progress.
In fact, the ability to celebrate your recovery is a great confidence booster.
The fact you took that first step and entered into recovery at all is commendable. There are so many people struggling with addiction who never even get to that point. If you put yourself in a position to get better, you’ve already done more than a lot of people have.
Britelife Recovery taught me a lot about feeling proud of my accomplishments. The amazing supportive staff reminds me time and time again how far I’ve come and what a great job I’m doing. It’s the encouragement I need to move forward from authentic people who have a vested interest in my recovery.
Recovery is an interesting concept. You make the choice to get clean. Nobody else can make that choice for you. They can support you, but it is ultimately your choice to make. You make the decision, wholeheartedly in a moment, vowing to become sober.
However, staying clean requires a lot of support. Sobriety is not something that I could have done on my own. Anytime I start to complain that progress isn’t looking like it should, or that I am not where I want to be, the staff at Britelife Recovery reminds me that it is up to me, and me alone, who is responsible for my attitude in the recovery process.
It’s a paradox. You are responsible for your attitude, but you also have the necessary help along the way. To keep your spirits up you should recognize that you’ve accomplished something great, and you should embrace and celebrate that.
All the people I’ve met through Britelife Recovery have different ways of celebrating their sobriety birthdays. One thing I’ve learned is that not everyone chooses the obvious date. You would assume people would center their sobriety birthday around the day that they stopped using. This is not always the case. Some of the people I’ve met prefer to celebrate the day they first got to rehab. Others like to celebrate the day that they completed rehab.
The great thing is it doesn’t have to be the same for everyone.
Whether it is the last day that you used or the day you left rehab, you should commemorate that date. Although the date is up to you, everyone I talk to has one thing in common. The date they choose is always the day they remember making the decision to get clean. This is a very powerful moment for anyone who experiences it.
Unfortunately, some people never get to have that moment. But for those of us that do, it sticks out forever in our minds. I remember that day unlike any other. I remember laying on my bathroom floor having finished my last nip from a bottle of vodka. The thought occurred to me. “This is how I’m going to die, and this is where they’re going to find me. This is my legacy.” I had thought similar thoughts plenty of times, but they never actually stuck in my brain. This was different. I thought those words in my mind, and then I said them aloud to myself. I pulled out my phone and called my father. All I said to him was ‘Hey dad, I think I need a ride. To a rehab or something…” I’m sure I sounded somewhat insincere putting it like that, but I knew one hundred percent that that was it for me.
I say this to myself probably every day.
Multiple times if I feel like I am slipping up.
Like I mentioned before, you alone make the decision to get sober.
However, once you make that choice it’s extremely hard to go through the process alone.
A very important lesson Britelife Recovery taught me is you can’t celebrate your success without celebrating the people who helped get you there.
It’s important to let these people know that you appreciate what they’ve done for you.
Not only will it make you feel good, but it also makes it all worthwhile for them to hear it.
It might even be the exact thing they need to hear if they are having a rough spell.
It’s a cycle.
At one meeting, a peer of mine said the words “You can’t keep it unless you give it away.”
That might be the single most important lesson in recovery.
You get back what you give.
This is something that everyone should recognize whether you are in recovery or not.
Whenever I’m at a meeting, I always think to myself that these are things that everybody should hear, whether your sober or not.
You should always recognize that the work that you put in is valuable.
At the same time, it’s important to reflect on everything that other people have done for you as well.
It takes a lot of guts to make the decision to change, and it takes just as many guts to help somebody else see their change.