Problem vs Solution
I absolutely had no idea that my drinking was a problem. I drank like most of the people around me. I thought it was normal. Enter drugs. Back in my using days, I didn’t have a drug "problem.” Instead, I had a drug "solution.” Drugs were how I coped. And when you took those drugs away from me, that’s when I had problems. Serious problems.
Whatever pain I had, whatever feelings of discord, whatever trauma and issues I was hiding, running from, or treating for years — they were all exposed when you took the drugs away.
When I actually left the substance alone — whether I had sworn it off or been removed from it — I didn’t react the way I thought I would. I did not feel "normal.” In fact, I felt the exact opposite. Life was overwhelmingly unmanageable.
Recovery isn’t just about putting an end to something. Things don’t just become glorious.
Let’s look at the definition of recovery:
1. a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
2. the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
Based on my experience, the second definition is more accurate when it pertains to this topic. In order to “regain possession or control of something stolen or lost” (or given away) I must find it. In the early days of “recovery”, I could barely see the light through the fog! What I did know was that I was hurt, broken, lost and trying to find a new way. In other words...trying to find a new solution.
Without a new, concrete solution to start building my foundation on, I knew I was going to eventually crumble again. By looking at what was actually lost... my fundamental needs (physical, mental, and spiritual) I was able to begin the journey into recovery. It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but here is what I filled those fundamental needs with.
Physical: medical detox and psychiatric ward, exercise and healthy eating have been critical for me
Mental: in-patient treatment, anti-depressants, counselling, 12-Step program
Spiritual: A higher power. My best thinking took me to rock bottom. I needed something greater than myself to believe in. At first it was the universe and nature. Now I have God.
Everyone’s path to addiction is different, just like everyone’s journey into recovery will be different. This is what worked for me. There is no better day than today. The longer we continue using the “old solution”, the worse things become and... brace yourself... we will likely die.
There is a way.
There is hope.
Please reach out and someone from OCJ will be there to help you find your new solution.