When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
–Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Initially, I was excited about recovery. I felt better for a while. I hate to say it, but now that I’m not at the beginning any more, everything seems worse. I feel more cynical than ever.
What you’re experiencing is part of the process of recovery. Many of us go through a “honeymoon” phase in early recovery. Our craving may feel miraculously lifted. Change feels easy, and hope replaces despair.
Then, life feels difficult again. We may perceive ourselves as having gotten worse, but that’s not accurate. What’s really happening is that, though our addictive craving has been treated, we still have our old problems, habits, and states of mind. We may be getting through the day, showing up for our work responsibilities, attending 12-step meetings, but not having much fun. We may wonder if what we’ve heard is really true – that “our worst day in recovery is better than our best day of active addiction.” We may wonder whether recovery really is the answer after all.
Our doubt makes clear to us that we have to do something. Staying where we are is too uncomfortable. We can attend a 12-Step meeting and read program literature to begin to familiarize ourselves with our next Step. For spirits in need of healing, 12-Step work leads to the next phase of recovery.
Today, I have the courage to move forward in my journey of recovery.
Working an active 12-step program of recovery is imperative to my ongoing recovery. When I first got clean and sober, I fully immersed myself into the recovery process. I started going to meetings, I got a sponsor, and I started working the steps. Further, I made lots of friends that were in recovery. My first year of sobriety, I spent most of my time doing recovery related activities. Or doing things with people that were in recovery anyways. I learned how to have fun with people in recovery. I learned to have fun without drugs and alcohol. Being sober 4 ½ years, I continue to work an active program of recovery. I go to 12-step meetings on a regular basis, I have a sponsor that I connect with almost daily, I have sponcees that I work with, I have a home group, and I have several services commitments. There are several other things I do that compliment my recovery as well. This includes morning prayer and meditation, staying connected to my Higher Power throughout day, yoga and exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. As long as I continue to work an active program of recovery and as long as I stay spiritually fit, I will not have the desire to drink or use drugs.