Taking the brave step into recovery doesn’t come without fear. Besides making a huge change within yourself, you might be afraid of missing your old life and old friends. And there can be just as much difficulty on the other side of that proverbial door.
But whereas substance use issues inevitably get worse to the point where something needs to change, recovery, while difficult, does get better. And you’ll find deeper connections, better friendships, and more fulfilling definitions of fun.
As you work your recovery, you may discover that your substance use issues are a symptom of deeper problems, including anxiety, fear, or self-doubt. These issues are always waiting in the wings for all of us, whether we are affected by them or not. The important thing is to know when you need to dig a little deeper and seek help, whether it’s heading to a meeting, calling your sponsor, or exercising your coping skills.
Because while drinking and drugs temporarily numb the pain, they also numb so much more, including our authentic selves. The most important thing you’ll discover in recovery is yourself. You’ll learn new things or reconnect with old interests that you really enjoy, even when alcohol or drugs aren’t present. You may even see your own creativity blossom.
This will also help you figure out who your friends are once the substance use stops. Some will remain. Some may not. New friendships will form. As you grow through recovery, you’ll find that your relationships with friends and family will grow into more authentic, fulfilling connections—in no small part thanks to you. And that kind of connection building is something you can keep with you for the rest of your life.
Recovery isn’t always easy, but remember—no matter how hard a day, week, or lifetime you’ve had—you’re a survivor, and you deserve credit for it. We all get through this life one step and one action at a time, no matter how large or small.
If you know someone who is in short-term or long-term recovery for mental health or substance use issues, check out series 6, episode 3 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers building a better life in recovery.
Download “Building a Better Life in Recovery” series 6, episode 3, HERE.