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What is Recovery and Addiction

I wanted to share a blog on another subject that I am Dr1ven by and that is sobriety and recovery for addiction. There are three things that Dr1ve me in life and that is Success, Suicide Awareness, and Sobriety. We are a company of What Dr1ves You and I find it important to hear other stories of what Dr1ves others to inspire us to find the fire within us. I am Dr1ven by sobriety and recovery because I am an addict and will always be on the journey of recovery. It is not something you are just healed from very similar to mental illness, it’s there and you cannot see it. I have had many people reach out on this to me and so I wanted to share more on this subject hoping someone who is looking for help finds it.


What is an addiction? Well as the dictionary puts it this;

ad·dic·tion

əˈdikSH(ə)n/

noun

the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.

"he committed the theft to finance his drug addiction"

Synonyms: dependency, dependence, habit, problem


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If you have not experienced addiction in your life consider yourself lucky! Statics show that 21.5 Million Americans in 2014 ages 12 and over suffer from addiction and I am personally one of them. It’s difficult to actually throw up current statics on how wide-spread this problem is since most surveys done that you can find are from 2011-2014 with not much posted after. So why write about recovery? I wanted to share about it because what I have found from personal experience is so many that reach out to me for help and ask for direction so I see a need to share. 


As an addict and if you are one you know the turning point that we all reach if you are sober. That point you reach when you decide that you have to change your life and it can be anything but we have all had one if you're in recovery. Some of those I have talked with had it when they entered the hospital or had a DUI even just decided they needed to make a life change. It can be anything but we have that point where we go enough is enough and no one can make that decision except for the addict. If you have a friend or family member that is in the middle of their addiction my heart goes out to you. I know it can be frustrating and exhausting even painful. Nothing you do will change them in their addiction because it is something that cannot be forced if you want them to have long-term sobriety. We as an addict have to make that decision for ourselves at some point if we are ever going to change.


My personal experience with this was not too long ago. I have battled with alcohol addiction since my early 20’s. I have had periods of sobriety and periods of massive addiction which ended on July 25th of 2017. I had gotten to the point of drinking 2-3 5th’s of vodka a day and as all addicts were very good at hiding this and hiding my disease. I do feel that addiction is a disease, something that’s there and no one can see. It’s also very hard to understand if you have not been one or experienced someone going through it and then through recovery. I use alcohol as an example because that was mine so, for example, a liquor store. Most people can drive past one and not even think about it and seems normal if you want something to drink you go in and get it then leave.


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An addict viewpoint is completely different! I drive past one I instantly notice it and brain instantly goes to “It would be nice just to have one drink”. It’s a craving and desire that is extremely hard to explain but in our head, we have this want to numb everything this false feeling it gives us. To feel this rush we get from it and even though we know it destroys us we crave it. Seems like someone like this would have better sense to just stop but we do not. It consumes us, we lose all concern for everything but our addiction! Family, work, bills, friends all do not matter when it comes to our addiction and we are very selfish in ensuring that it comes first. This is where the lies, the hiding and the change of habits take place because we will do drastic life changes to protect our addiction. To you reading this and currently having a friend or family member going through addiction again my heart is out to you because this is how an addict is, and nothing you do will change it. It’s up to us and our decision.


So what is the decision and how do we come to that point? Here is my personal story and also how I got into recovery. Again if you are going through this as a non-addict with a friend or family member all you can offer is support. My turning point was July 24th, 2017, I had lost my job due to my addiction and self-destructive behavior. My marriage was in ruins from the choices I had made and my selfishness was at an all-time high. I did not care about those around me and many were too afraid to even bring up that they thought I had a problem or didn't know because I hid it so well. So what happened, that night in a drunken stupor after a full-blown fight with my wife and lots of screaming and yelling I laid in our bed and cried. I laid there realizing what I had done and continued to do this my life would only get worse and I would lose everything I had worked so hard to accomplish in life. At that point I made a choice, I had to change and could not go on like this anymore. It was a moment of clarity and desire to change not for anyone but for myself. I did not want to continue to hurt everyone around me and that it was time, the next morning I woke up and made everyone around me aware that I had a problem and needed help.


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Again everyone that I have spoken to has had the same kind of experience but everyone’s story is unique. We all in recovery made a choice to stop and did, this is not easy and is where the recovery process comes in. I am a firm believer personally that anyone who becomes sober can do it any way they choose as long as they maintain their sobriety. I don’t feel that there is only one way and support anyone on their journey of sobriety but this is my personal feelings towards it. This becomes a daily challenge and support is so important during this because how our mind works is that we can’t do this and that it is too hard. It takes an addict awhile to change our thinking and start to realize it is possible and we can do this. So what is recovery and how? Here’s my take on it;


re·cov·er·y

rəˈkəv(ə)rē/

noun

1.

a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.

"signs of recovery in the housing market"

Synonyms: recuperation, convalescence.

the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.


I have had many people reach out and ask me about recovery from addiction when they have reached that point and my advice to them is first. Get Help!!! And what I mean by that is reach out to someone and let them know you have a problem and need help. When we get sober from whatever our addiction is we feel very alone and it messes with our emotions a lot. Having support along the way makes all the difference in the world, I do support AA but if someone feels uncomfortable with that it’s fine and just finding a program that works for them is what is important. Sometimes rehab is needed if you have access to the VA they have a lot of amazing resources along with the salvation army. Also if you have someone who is new to recovery you have to be patient, unfortunately, there is nothing we can take that instantly cures us and makes everything easy for us again. It is a long process that is one day at a time and sometimes minute by minute. 


If you try rehab, AA, NA or a program out there remember to take your time and find the right place or meetings that you like. As soon as you put us all in a room anything is possible the good and the bad. Don’t be afraid of trial and error in this area and remember don’t ever give up because it is worth it! Recovery is a process and we will always be an addict, as an addict, you will always have a bond with others that is hard to explain but we understand each other. You are not alone in this process there are so many like you and you don’t have to feel alone! One tip I give everyone new in recovery is reaching out to those around you who are recovering addicts. You would be surprised how many people are in recovery and odds are you know one or two people that are. From personal experience, I have a good friend who is and helped guide me on where to go for meetings and helped me start the steps. It is a journey that I was scared to start but knew I needed to and needed direction. He helped me realize I was not alone and that how I felt and what I was feeling was normal. I have treated this recovery process different this time and did it for myself if you are doing it for any other reason than that success odds are not in your favor but can be done regardless. 


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This is a journey that never ends and will be challenging at times and wonderful at others. I can personally say I would not trade my worst day now for a drink because I know what it can do to me. I urge you if you are in recovery to reach out to those around you even for the sense that you don’t know who you know that wants to get sober but doesn’t know how to. Make yourself available so that they are comfortable speaking to you about it, you never know who you will reach or who you will inspire to change their lives. This is my personal views and would love to hear yours, please feel free to share because I can tell you that there are many addicts that want help and don’t know where to turn. We can help each other and in return help ourselves, I look forward to hearing your stories and why you decided to change your life!


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Special Thanks to Bonnie-Leigh Thornton for more info on pictures email at lennylee@hotmail.com You have amazing talent and thank you for your support!

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