Is there a magical formula for lasting recovery? If only! Sobriety, as many people have learned the hard way, doesn’t come in a pill, a bottle, a can, or a prescription. After putting in the serious work of getting through a treatment program, it’s important to commit to long term change in order to keep on the path of lasting recovery…
Regardless of the circumstance, rehab rarely constitutes anyone’s idea of optimal fun and excitement. Healing from addiction requires diligence, hard work, and tremendous effort. It requires willingness and patience- and a lot of it- in order to generate positive outcomes. Rehab is not easy. Neither is recovery. However, when successful, treatment can be the ultimate gift to restore your sanity and save your life. But, what if you’ve already done rehab? What if you already know the alleged ins and outs of the treatment process, groups, and therapies? Is it still effective? Is it still worth giving it another chance?
Let’s face it: drugs and alcohol are a huge part of gay culture. Getting trashed together, hooking up, and using recreational drugs to enhance sex are part of the package, so to speak. And that’s fine, for some people. But when you’re ready to get off the party bus and start living sober, it can be really hard to adjust. Where’s the fun? The sparkle? When sex, bars, drugs, and booze are the norm, finding a life that feels balanced and rewarding can be a challenge. Here are three ways to get into the groove of your recovery.
Rehab. It’s a word that people instantly associate with several images: A bunch of guys sitting in a circle, crying together. Standing around wondering what you’re supposed to do next—boredom. Chatting with a counselor who looks at your life under a microscope. Bland food, and no snack time. And, above all, no drugs or alcohol = no fun!
When most people think of “drug addiction” they think of the hard stuff. Heroin. Meth. Cocaine. Pharmaceuticals like Adderall or benzodiazepines. And yeah, even pot. But you may not realize that there are other mind-altering chemicals a person can even obtain over-the-counter!
I remember what I was thinking when I first went into inpatient treatment: I’m never going to have fun again the rest. of. my. life. I had been arrested, first for a DUI in late December of 2010, then for multiple felony trespassing counts, I had committed while in a blackout from benzos and alcohol. I thought my life was over.
Embarking upon a journey towards health and wellness in recovery was my second biggest challenge in life. It came after seeking help for my active addiction. And I didn’t do so willingly; I did so reluctantly. I didn’t want to feel terrible, and have low energy all the time—but I also didn’t want to put in the (perceived) huge effort that eating well would take. After all, recovery is a full-time job in itself—there wasn’t much room for anything else! But I did it.
What seemed to be an impossible task for me to accomplish did not seem so hard after all. It was only a matter of letting go of my old ideas, prejudice, and adopting a belief that there really is a “Power” that will solve my problem…
When someone you love has an issue with abusing substances, it’s normal to want to help them realize they have a problem and get them into some kind of treatment program. Often this can be a frustrating and drawn out process because most people who are heavily drinking or using drugs may not be ready to admit they have a problem.
Many of us these days who are asked to read the book as part of the recovery process. A process that may very well save our very life. We act like we are reading it, all along having a prejudice against doing just that. Reading the book.