Reconnect with family

As crazy as it sounds, your family is more than likely going to be your strongest form of support. Yes, even after all of those horrible things we have done to them to get our drugs/alcohol, they still love us and want what’s best for us. It might not be easy, in fact it will probably seem awkward at first. After all, they don’t trust you, and why should they? But trust can be earned back, and love is unconditional. Over time, your family will realize through your changes that you are cleaning up, and the trust will slowly come back.

I remember when I first moved back home, my parents drove a thousand miles in their vehicle to drive my uhaul and camper back with them and meet me at home (my hometown). Were they happy about it? Absolutely not, in fact the look on my dads face could not have been more inconvenienced and agitated (I couldn’t blame him). I could tell upon my arrival that they did not exactly have a lot of faith in my recovery. For years I carried on with my ways as well, but over time I slowly started changing for the better. As I changed, I could sense my parents trust in me being renewed, in fact when we (my father and I) built my mill, he fronted the money for the project. He knew it was a hobby I loved, and he could see the changes I had made. In my past he would have assumed I would have sold it and burned him on the payback, but now it is almost like he is proud of me, like he was when I hit my first (probably only) homerun, or caught my first fish. Effort does not go unnoticed.

You might relapse, and that’s ok, just don’t let it get you down. If you do relapse, the family that you reconnected with will more than likely be very disappointed, but that’s ok too, they love you and are watching you poison yourself, put yourself in their shoes, you would be disappointed too. I have kids of my own, some of which are almost adults, and some of their decisions disappoint me, decisions I once made myself when I was their age. You see we get disappointed in our children when despite our many warnings, they go ahead and make the same mistakes we did, as if we don’t already know how it is going to play out. I just rest easy knowing that one day, they will call me, needing to reconnect with me. And when they do I may be disappointed, but I will welcome them with open arms.

Find support

Addiction is not an easy thing to beat, if it were there would be no need for me to write any of this. Take pride in your achievements, it is something to be praised. We are all human beings, we seem to need validation, even if we say we don’t, deep down we know we do. Support from our peers motivates us to keep going, we want to make them proud, their disappointment crushes us and we never want to feel that way, so we do our best to make them proud.

On the other hand, if your friends are taking drugs and/or alcohol, they are not really productive for your recovery. These are the friends that will leave you with the choice, them or recovery. As long as your support is supporting your drinking, it will be almost impossible to recover. Surround yourself with the people that will support your recovery, these are the people that want what is best for you.

Support can come in many forms. Family and friends are common places to find support

You might just be surprised at who is supportive of your decision to recover. I had 2 types of friends, the ones who were not supportive, these were the ones who kept trying to get me to have a drink with them, as if I was somehow not cool unless I would poison myself for their entertainment. I also had the friends that accepted my decision, these friends just quit coming around. I still associate with them from time to time, but at the end of the day my values were no longer in line with theirs. This was not a bad thing, I would still be happy to help any of them out, we simply have a different crowd now.

Meetings are a great way to find other people with similar goals as you, the people you will find in these meetings know your struggles, they will understand the pain and disappointment of a relapse, and they want to share in your success. The tung here is that you probably can’t do it alone, and you really shouldn’t have to. It is easy to start thinking that nobody cares, especially in today’s society, but if you will slow down, and find the people that have been through what you are going through, I think you will find that together you can find the strength you need to overcome.