When we begin our path to recovery we need to reassess our relationship with things that we once held so near and dear to our heart. The alcohol and drugs that were once crutches to help deal with crippling emotional pain and trauma, shall now be cast asunder replaced by more positive means of self-fulfilment, actualization and treating the deep psychological wounds of our often troubled past.
As we become more comfortable with our sober waking selves we find that we never needed these substances at all. The perceived pleasure and comfort they provided were never really real at all, but a figment of our imagination. After being sober for a period you come to realize that the most beneficial drugs are the ones created in our own mind, without the necessity for outside chemical manipulation.
Once one has been sober long enough it’s parallel to coming out of a long comatose state where finally we begin to see things as they truly are and not how we’ve been preconditioned, while under the influence to believe. The following are 4 truisms that become more evident the longer we continue to stay clean and sober.
1. You Will Be Singled Out
There is no doubt about it. Once you make the brave decision to get on the wagon and kick substance abuse to the curb you will be alienated in some way by your friends, coworkers and even family. Be prepared to be constantly scrutinized and judged because the fact of the matter is people don’t always like to see others doing better than them. There is a popular maxim: “misery loves company” and it most certainly applies here. You will not always receive the love and support from everyone that you think you would when attempting to live a life of recovery. Always keep in mind that this old social network that doesn’t understand your new life will be replaced by your new group of supportive nurturing sober friends and sponsors who will have your back for life. They can empathize with your plight better than anyone having gone through it before and can therefore be extremely helpful during precarious times.
Do your best to stay committed to your goals and don’t let others derail you off the course. The longer you achieve sobriety the easier it is to completely and utterly discard anything else that doesn’t promote that objective. At a party drinking water and not tequila? Don’t let the party patrol shame you into thinking you need to wilt under the pressure and succumb to temptation. Just think about waking up refreshed instead of hungover. That should be the only incentive you need to refrain.
2. You Will Lose Touch With Certain Friends
This particular dictum is coated with a silver lining. You may lose some of your old drinking and druggy buddies but you will replace them with people more in line with your new values and health goals. Happy hour after work may now be replaced with crossfit WODs or yoga asanas. Keep in mind that when you think you lose something the natural order of the universe conspires to always replaces that loss with an even better gain.
As time goes by and you become stronger, healthier and more secure in yourself you will have noticed a much darker fate has befallen your old pals who refused to give up the party life. While they are slowly killing themselves you will be uplifting yourself. Perhaps they may even come back to you hat in hand trying to learn your secret for longevity. You can now rekindle your old friendship on a positive note and teach them the ways of the powerful force that is recovery and sobriety.
3. You Will Feel Alone
Yes it is true at times you will feel alone on your journey. There is no shame in this though as some of the most profound truths and creative inspiration have been experienced through intense periods of introspection and isolation. Being alone is something that has been wrongfully vilified by our society and for no good reason. Living in such a socially engineered world it is actually very good for us to extricate ourselves periodically from such intensive social situations.
The world is composed of both yin and yang energies, which can be likened to passive and active modes respectively. If partying with friends is considered part of the yang element, then it needs to be balanced by yin activities like yoga, running or meditation. These will restore you like no night out partying with friends could ever do.
4. You Will Change
Over time you may not realize just how much dropping substances like drugs and alcohol can actually change your brain chemistry. You may all of a sudden become a fan of movies, art and literature that you would of never even so much as entertained the thought of before. You might also become more in touch with your sensitive side. These things are gifts from the divine and should not be taken for granted.
Life is a constant state of evolution and you need not fear change. Change is the most fundamental aspect of our existence. In every moment we are changing and its better to embrace it rather than resist. For what we resist persists.