The Stages of Recovery and Why You Can’t Stay Sober By Just “Not Drinking”
Published On: November 18, 20205.1 min read
Whatever you focus on grows, and while recovery begins by focusing on avoiding relapse, you can’t maintain that forever if you want to stay sober for the long term. Find out how Tommy Rosen discovered the path to true recovery and what it means to…
Tommy Rosen was the first person to introduce Tim to the idea of food causing inflammation in the body.
Tommy grew up in New York City and it was always his dream as a kid to live in California where he eventually landed as an adult. His parents divorced when Tommy was only one year old and there was always an underlying sense that something was wrong in his family life.
Tommy started experimenting with drugs and alcohol as a way to escape from the sense of foreboding he always felt. He recalls that the first time he smoked cannabis was the first time he felt a sense of control in his life and the tension falling away.
For someone with that kind of life, there would be no reason to stop using that substance until it became such a problem that you could no longer use it and are forced to stop. This is basically what happened to Tommy as his cannabis use escalated to alcohol, psychedelics, cocaine, and heroine.
It was during his cocaine use that Tommy realized he had a major problem and didn’t have the ability to stop. A person in the addictive mindset like Tommy is usually asking themselves the wrong question. The focus is typically on “Can I do this drug and not have my life implode?” which is not a very high-grade question.
With addiction, at a certain point, all you’re focusing on is the drink and the drugs. Every other area of your life suffers as you make using your main priority.
Recovery happens in stages, and in the first stage the one job is just not using one day at a time. The most important thing you can do is put some distance between you and drugs and alcohol. Over time you begin to detox physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Recovery happens one day, one hour, and one minute at a time. If you get the urge, pick up the phone and call your sponsor.
Putting your energy into not doing drugs and alcohol is only a temporary solution. Eventually you will begin to find alignment with what you’re doing and new challenges will come up. For Tommy, the first 12 years of his recovery wasn’t about struggling not to use drugs but in dealing with the challenges in his relationships and life.
Tommy was very fortunate to have a committed sponsor who helped him throughout his recovery.
The dilemma for people just beginning their journey through recovery is doubt in the process. The most corrosive element for anyone trying to beat addiction is doubt, because if you doubt the process, it isn’t going to work for you.
You have to be around examples of victory in order to have enough faith to experience a shift in your life and give yourself the momentum to keep going.
Avoiding suffering isn’t enough. You have to move towards trying to be happy with yourself and your life.
How much time do you spend chasing nothing and being comfortable with just you, on your own? If you equate financial success with happiness you will be sorely mistaken.
If you’re not adding value to the world and the people you meet, you’re going to spend your time chasing things and suffering from the lack you feel.
Going to bed tonight sober is enough for some people because that’s an act of self-love. When you love yourself you can begin to love other people in the world.
To be content and happy, you have to have a practice of meditation and calming your mind. If you don’t, you will never get off the hamster wheel of chasing happiness which is itself a form of suffering.
Tommy’s recovery only came after he hit a new low. It led to a codependency that caused him incredible pain, and he shifted his addiction from alcohol and drugs to bad relationships and gambling. His second phase of recovery came after reaching his second bottom. and Recovery 2.0 was born from meeting a special mentor that showed Tommy the way.
Tommy’s gambling addiction nearly destroyed his life over the course of a single disastrous weekend. Despite being in recovery for 12 years, Tommy knew that there was still something that he was missing.
Shortly after that Tommy experienced near crippling pain in his back and got the unhappy diagnosis of needing to be on drugs for the rest of his life. Tommy retells the story of meeting his mentor who taught him how to live a pain free life without the need to take medication.
Don’t try to just survive your addiction, don’t just focus on not drinking or using. At first you’ll have to do that but the time will come when your life will shift and drugs and alcohol won’t be a problem anymore.
Forgive yourself for not being perfect in this world. That’s the basis of a life of beauty and magic and wonder, and it’s available to everybody.
Everything has changed in 2020, but so much is still the same. Tommy still has to maintain his practice of meditation, still has to eat healthy food. Mind your own business and pay attention to your own life. Don’t get caught up in the chaos of the external world.
Yoga and breathwork are incredible compliments to the twelve step program.Whatever you focus on grows, and while recovery begins by focusing on avoiding relapse, you can’t maintain that forever if you want to stay sober for the long term. Find out how Tommy Rosen discovered the path to true recovery and what it means to live a life focused on being a positive loving force in the world and not just avoiding suffering.