Retro Recovery: Now Or Never
Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.
|Published 03/30/2017 at 4:09 p.m. – Day 142 of Treatment|
So it’s been a little while since I discussed my recovery. I can’t catch you all up if you haven’t been following, but here is the Reader’s Digest version:
On May 12, 2016 I went to jail for 5 months. I came out sober into a 2 month program, then I went to the current program. I’ve been here for 3 1/2 months.
There you go! Well, on Tuesday I had a phone interview with the new place I have been considering. Normally I have been applying the principles of Acceptance, Gratitude, Spirituality, Mindfulness and living in the Now, to cope with day to day situations. Alas, after my phone call, this was not to be!
What happened is that I turned all the information about the new place into negatives. I was also upset that they wanted me to move there next Monday or Tuesday. I had a meltdown. I got sad, pissed, depressed. I was considering looking for another program. If it were not for my best friend, it could have been much worse. But, thanks to her love, understanding, and insightful advice, I was able to come to my senses.
It was about a 2 hour period of time that I was distraught. I was pissed at myself for not utilizing my coping strategies. I should have seen this coming. By the time I went to bed that evening, I had pretty much resolved the situation in my mind. I was back to my old self-pretty much-and decided to bite the bullet. But the situation had me wondering: why the meltdown?” Why such an emotional response to moving onward and upward in my sobriety?
The answer crept up on me sometime yesterday. I was afraid! I feared moving out of the safety and security of the institutions I’ve been part of for nearly 11 months! I was shocked. This new program is much more like living on your own than relying upon a program with a slew of staff at your beck and call. I realized that in treatment I may have gotten a little too comfortable. I did what I was supposed to do, but I didn’t put in due diligence and fully prepare for re-entry into the “real” world. I will not make that mistake again, I can assure you.
The new place quite demanding in getting you to pursue a job and a place to live as soon as possible. They require rent. They require you to provide for yourself in every basic way. They also do not drug test. So recovery is now “real:” no safety net to keep you from drinking. I realized that the thought of being thrust into society like that made me very apprehensive. Then I started thinking it through and had the kinds of thought processes I have had all along: I GOT THIS. It’s time to get it done.
Any program or place I go is going to have its pluses and minuses. I reacted immaturely, and irrationally. But I recovered quickly and got my head out of my ass! Any place I go is going to be one step closer to getting my life back. Any place I go I will need to integrate myself back into living my own life. It’s one step closer to perhaps going back to school. Life is standing at my doorstep. Sink or Swim. Game Time. The Big Show. And you know what? I GOT THIS.
I am going to face the challenges head on and come out on top. I am not going to worry about finding a place to live, a job, food, rent, or any other obstacle. I am going to live in the NOW, as in right this moment. I am going to focus on what I can control and let go of what I cannot. And, although I did lose my shit for a few hours, I got myself back to good pretty quickly. And I allowed myself to show vulnerability to my friend, and she came through with flying colors. I am blessed. Truly.
So that’s it folks. I should be moving out of here within 2 weeks. Onward and upward. I’m ready for the next challenge. I will update you once I get settled. And I am ready for Spring!