Welcome to recovery. I bet it took you a long time to get here. Breathe. Your life is about to change for the better – if you stay on your recovery road. You may experience some hard bumps along the way, but it is worth the effort to work through and smooth them out. If you don’t return to using, you WILL realize many positive changes in your life. Until you start recovery, you are stuck in “Nowhere Land,” with your mind confused and your heart caught between two worlds. Treatment professionals call this the pre-treatment stage. During the pre-treatment stage, your addict self falsely believes using is the answer to all your problems, while the dopamine in your brain, altered by your addiction, incorrectly sends you the message that you need to use to survive. At the same time, you know you need to change your lifestyle. What a struggle!
It takes courage to start recovery, courage you have shown even by picking up this book to learn how to change your life for the better. By using your inner and outer resources, you can keep traveling along your recovery road, and be successful, no matter what is thrown your way. Stay courageous! You can do it!
To Get a Good Start:
- Contact your physician! Have a check-up! Be honest! Follow all medical advice.
- Practice abstinence from all addictive substances and behaviors.
- Join a recovery program. Sit there, listen, and take it all in. You do not have to do a thing. Magic can happen if you just keep going back.
- Accept recovery into your life. It takes work, but consider whatever event that got you into recovery as a blessing. Do whatever it takes to stay the course. As you progress along your path, acknowledge, nurture, and reward yourself.
Learn about the PINK CLOUD that is experienced in early recovery. You may not consciously want to use, the abstinence may feel wonderful, but when this “pink cloud” collapses (and it will), your fall to earthly reality will be much easier if you have begun building your recovery structure.
If you want to start your recovery, don’t allow your addict self to sabotage what you want by indulging in, “I’ll do it soon,” or “I’ll be okay,” type of thinking. If you truly cannot begin now, set yourself up for success by taking action to ensure that you will follow through ASAP. Examples of taking action are: contacting a referral center and asking for help; making an appointment with a counselor for the first possible appointment time; going to a self-help support group meeting; or signing a clear and specific, time-limited contract with yourself and putting it in a visible place. Whatever you decide to do, commit, take whatever action you can, and follow through.