Saturday, July 12, 2014

Six Months, Six Lessons

The day I went to rehab. The hardest day of my entire life. A decision I will never regret. 

My family visiting me in rehab. These visits helped motivate me each week. 

Our family Christmas picture taken at Turning Point. I feel like I look so different now. I am so grateful for treatment. 

It has been six months since my relapse right after I got out of treatment. It has been eight months since I actually entered treatment and began a sober life. I want to share six lessons I have gained since January. 

1. I am capable of living a sober life: A year ago, I never in a million years would have thought this was possible. With my back problems, I thought I had to take something just to make it through the day. Since I have been able to work with a Dr. who understands addiction and understands chronic pain as well, I have been able to live a pain free and drug free live. It has been incredible. I really never believed I was capable. Now, whenever I get a craving, I really anchor myself and remember that I truly am capable and I have the sober time to prove it. Cravings will come and go, and I can remain sober.

2. Secrets keep you sick: Since I was such a functional addict, I was really good at keeping my addiction a secret. This is what kept me sick for such a long time. Now that I am open about my addiction and talk about it with others, there is no way that I can live in my addiction without anyone knowing. This is how I have been able to stay sober for so long. It has been so healthy for me to be able to reach out to my constant supporters and let them know where I am in my relapse cycle so that they can remind me that I chose sobriety and this is what I want in order to live a healthy and happy life. 

3. God will never give up on me: I have lived through so many near-death experiences, that I know that God is aware of my struggles and will fight to keep me on this planet. I have had so many amazing spiritual experiences, that I know that if I allow God to take control and help me, I will make it through the hard times and I don't need my addiction to survive. I am 100 times happier than I was a year ago when I was stuck in my active addiction. This is all because I chose to let God take control and save me from myself. If you chose God's plan over Satan's plan, you can do anything- even overcome an addiction that almost destroyed me. 

4. In order to stay sober, you need to have a plan when you are craving: For me, I have to switch to a mindful activity that will allow me to switch perspectives. If I am running, I can only think about running. It is impossible to think two things at the same time. If I can't stop thinking about craving, I have to do something that requires my entire mind and attention to get away from the cravings. 

5. I was created to live a happy life: I did not come on this earth to have an addiction. I came on this earth to live out God's plan for me. I believe, this plan is to help others' who struggle with addiction. That is why I got into the addiction counseling program. 

6. When I am struggling, reach out: This goes along with secrets keeping me sick. I used to think I had to overcome this by myself. I know for a fact that I have only been able to do this through following a treatment program, going to therapy, seeing an addictionologist, and reaching out to friends and family who can help remind me of what is important and what I really want. 

That being said, thank you so much for all of the love and support. It wasn't until I was able to humble myself and realize that I needed help from a higher power and professionals that I was able to finally say goodbye to my addiction and live a happy and healthy sober life!

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