We see them everywhere. Meeting rooms of sober support groups, visiting treatment facilities, staff members at our various treatment centers- people really love being sober. They use AA sayings all day, they speak in recovery cliches, and they’re always talking about how grateful they are to be sober. Nothing, they report, is better than recovery.
As an outsider to recovery and a newcomer still suffering from symptoms of withdrawal, their rhetoric is difficult to swallow. First of all, our brains are not yet able to comprehend pleasure or enjoyment without the presence of drugs and alcohol. Additionally, parts of our brains which process, analyze, judge, and rationalize are impaired. The combination of the two makes tolerating such people a tasking challenge. Despite our disgruntlement, we can’t help but feel…curious. Will our lives become consumed with recovery? One day will we be as happy about being clean, sober, and recovered? More importantly, we ask: do we want to?
Less Shame and Stigma
Recovery does not have to be your whole life. However, if you are an addict or alcoholic of the fatal kind recovery should be part of your life for your whole life. Recovery doesn’t have to be everything you think of all day long. Nobody is asking you to be the recovery cheerleader. The reason Alcoholics Anonymous is Anonymous was to protect the lives and identities of its members. Today, alcoholism and addiction face far less social shame and stigma than it did before. There are still challenges which come from being an outed alcoholic. For that reason, many keep their recovery lives as part of their private lives.
Embracing recovery as part of your life means gaining wisdom, learning new ways of living, and maintaining your commitment to sobriety. It means you recognize that some of the patterns of your life as it was before were not conducive to your health and happiness. Today, without drinking and using, plus living life employing new tools, you live a much happier and healthier life. To that goal, you can work for all life long.