L O L T – Life on life’s terms


By David Joel Miller.

Recovery is easy when everything is going well, some days nothing goes right.

Pain can be a powerful motivator. It makes us look at our lives. It makes us consider changing. Sometimes we get stuck in the pain and can’t see a way out. Others may see the need for a change before we do. It takes whatever it takes to start on the road of recovery. Recovery groups describe this as “hitting bottom.”

Many sorts of pain can bring someone to treatment, physical pain, loss of family and friends, feeling miserable constantly. Going for help can be difficulty. We hate to admit we need help. When people arrive at the helping place they are often unsure, sometimes resentful if they have been forced to seek help by a partner who says counseling or I go, or a judge who says treatment or jail.

In the beginning it takes time for the process to work.  There is confusion and anger. The focus is on the pain instead of the recovery. Sometime, somehow the focus shifts. They begin to look at themselves and they begin to change. We learn that we can’t change others, not really. The only things that we can really change are ourselves and our attitudes.

Life may start to get better. The meds may work. The counseling helps them unburden themselves or the group provides a source of healing and support. Life is getting better. They tell me they have never been so happy. They say that their life has changed forever.

I start to worry. We call this the “pink cloud.”  We know it will pass.

Then the storms come. Bad things happen, even when you are in recovery even when you are doing all the right things. This is a real life. Sometimes I like it sometimes I don’t.

The real test of recovery is can we handle life’s challenges, live day by day and still stay in emotional balance?

A person who is truly in recovery, who has moved their life from sickness and symptoms to wellness and recovery is the person who is able to handle life on life’s terms.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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