First, Find Your Keys

One thing I’m still astounded by is the power of the human mind; take for instance your will to quit. Isn’t it fascinating how, when you wanted to use your mind would justify nearly any behavior? So what is the key to saying goodbye to that addiction?

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Why is it that when you want to stop it can be so difficult, and why is your mind often your biggest enemy? What’s is it that is really stopping you from quitting?

For me, it was a coping mechanism for fear of judgment

  • afraid to admit I needed help
  • afraid to ask for the help I did need
  • afraid to be rejected for that help
  • scared of not having alcohol to hide behind
  • scared of being 100% accountable for my bad decisions
  • terrified…..in general of life…..

Alcohol muted the fear.

However, it also muted the rest of my life…

I wasn’t just silencing the voice inside me that was worried and anxious and fearful, but I was suppressing the happiness, love gratitude and self-worth that made me who I was.

In my effort to stop feeling the bad feelings, I traded in all the good ones as well.

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One of the things I have heard people in early recovery marvel at the vibrancy of colors because really EVERYTHING in life either gets muted from the addiction we endure, or we just stop taking time to smell the roses. In both instances, the substance is to blame.

It was within my first six months of sobriety that I even remembered my favorite color used to be green!

WOW!

(It has since changed nearly a million times because colors themselves are so beautiful it’s hard to pick just one)

What a revelation that was, I don’t even remember exactly when the epiphany occurred but I remember being absolutely blown away.

  • How could a color fill me with joy?
  • How could anything be so green?!
  • How in the world could I have forgotten?

-and perhaps the most intimidating,

  • What else had I (unknowingly) lost?

Somewhere along the lines, I wasn’t just paying out of pocket at the store for the bottle.

I was paying for it later as well, with small concessions of myself

  1. My favorite color
  2. Favorite activities
  3. Character traits

Slowly but surely, I had lost pieces of who I was in order to hide from fear.

FEAR is a normal feeling!

-turning down that great job you got because it’s on the 23rd floor and you have a fear of heights, is a bit abnormal, but fear itself is a normal feeling.

I didn’t realize all the harm I was doing by trying to mask that emotion.

With recovery, I have back all the things I love about life and I couldn’t be more thankful for that!

-that being said, WHY IS IT STILL SO HARD TO QUIT!?!?!?!?

Through the endless soul searching I have done, this question bounces around often with only one real answer for me.

When I wanted to drink, nothing in the world could stop me and no one was going to tell me otherwise; often, the people that DID tell me, got the brunt end of an unfounded lashing out. I realized that it would be that same dogged determination that would pull me through recovery during my most difficult times.

I needed to summon that fierce “by any means necessary” attitude ABOUT my sobriety!

I know it’s there, I have seen it in me.

In these blogs, it’s my effort to offer some sort of solution for when recovery can get too overwhelming to face alone or when it is moving at a less than desirable pace.

-but with this I have no solution.

This was just one of the many keys I’ve come to use in recovery, and it’s callus to say to anyone, “well nothing stopped you before so what’s stopping you now?” Clearly, if recovery was THAT simple, there would be no such thing as relapse, people wouldn’t go to meetings and no one would be an addict.

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However, since it isn’t a blanket effect for everyone this IS the solution I can offer,

When you find your key, USE IT!

You know better than anyone else how to motivate yourself, so whatever key unlocks that motivation to your recovery journey, learn to wield it like you use your phone!

If you stay true to yourself, your recovery and your support system will just be more keys on the ring. Start to imagine yourself as somewhat of a key master! Don’t forget everything you need is already inside of you!

Until next time #recoveryrockstars!!!

Take it one day at a time with #lifeonthesoberside

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