A Goodbye Letter To My Addiction
Jerry Lawson ❘
Dear Addiction, saying goodbye to you seems like the hardest thing; I thought you’d never leave. But I'm much better off without you.
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It’s no question that an addiction is one of those most difficult things a person can endure. As with many of life’s challenges, the ability to overcome an addiction heavily depends on a person’s dedication and perseverance.
No 2 recovery paths are the same, which means that some people encounter different challenges than others. But ultimately, the success of your recovery is up to you. With the positive attitude and healthy life changes you adopt after treatment, you’ll stand the best chances of having the happiest and most successful recovery possible.
The first few months of recovery after rehab are a delicate time. You’re transitioning back into your daily routine and rebuilding the life you had in the past. It’s easy to fall victim to a negative, self-destructive way of thinking when you plague your mind with thoughts of the past.
Having some self-doubt now and then at the beginning is normal, but remember that you have the power to change this way of thinking. Allow yourself permission to celebrate the great things that make you who you are. Maybe you’re a great cook, an excellent dancer, or a hard worker who’s full of optimistic energy. By making a commitment to focus on the best parts of yourself, you can be the architect of your new, forward-thinking life.
There’s something about recovery that makes you grateful for the little things in life. Knowing that you’ve been given a second chance to achieve the life you’ve always wanted puts things into perspective for many people.
In each day, make a point of trying to notice the good around you – a compliment from a stranger, the sunshine, a delicious cup of tea, or the end of a productive day. When you find yourself in these moments, try to savor them and make them last as long as you can. You might be surprised at just how impactful they can be.
One of the biggest lessons you’ll learn in rehab is that the positive change you want to make doesn’t happen without taking action. For many people, that means changing your habits, how you think, and the people around you.
In the beginning, it’s important to avoid people who you may associate with your old, toxic habits. They can impede your recovery by tempting you to use again – even if it’s just 1 drink or dose for old times’ sake. Instead, it’s best to spend time with people who support you and allow you to put your recovery first.
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People who are happy in recovery proactively work to reduce their encounters with stress. These can include quitting an unpleasant job, moving out of a toxic home environment, or choosing a new circle of friends. Whatever’s causing the most tension in your life, try to find ways to lessen it or remove it completely.
Anyone in recovery will tell you that maintaining sobriety will be a lifelong, ongoing process. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life in the meantime. There’s an endless number of ways you can take advantage of all of life’s wonders without having to resort to substance use. Take that once in a lifetime trip you’ve been dreaming of. Try a new type of cuisine. Go skydiving. Sign up for a pottery class. Whatever strikes your interest, make a point to pursue it and enjoy every step of the way.
A substance addiction can encroach onto every aspect of a person’s life, including their health, well-being, and ways of thinking. It’s something that doesn’t just come and go. It changes you for the rest of your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to let your addiction define you during recovery. You can be grateful for how far you’ve come and what your recovery has given you so far.
Your recovery has given you a second chance at a bright future. It’s given you a newfound resilience against everyday challenges in life. You see the people who love and support you in a new light. But most importantly, your recovery can help you realize that the life you were always supposed to live has only just begun.
If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s not too late to get help. Contact a treatment provider to explore the available addiction care options.
Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.