By David Joel Miller.
How hard are you running?
“I ran real hard after drugs, I’m gonna run real hard after recovery,” the client said. Even after they left I couldn’t get this out of my head. We all run real hard after our problems but how hard are we willing to run after our recovery.
Being a drug addict or an alcoholic is hard work. So are all kinds of other problems we get stuck in. The addict’s life consists of thinking about their drug of choice, all day long. There is not much room for other thoughts.
From the time they get up till the time they crash out the search for drugs is on. Addicts truly work hard to get the money to buy drugs. They do things they thought they would never do. Things they said you couldn’t pay them enough to do until they needed the money for drugs.
Every drug has its culture and the addict stays with his own kind as much as they can. The Heroin addict knows about rigs, going to the cotton and cotton fever. The Meth smoker knows about a hundred ways to make a pipe out of any sort of scraps. The alcoholic, well for them it is types of wines and how to order a drink, on the rocks, straight up, beer back or chaser.
The addict knows how to chase their drug and the lifestyle that goes with it like an Olympic athlete. What they don’t know is how to chase recovery.
One old-timer at a 12 step meeting used to ask the newcomers a couple of simple questions.
How far were you willing to go to get a drink or a drug? How far are you willing to go to get recovery? Shouldn’t you be willing to go farther for recovery than for your addiction?
People practice for years, sometimes decades to become really good at their addiction. Maybe we should call that really bad in their addiction. But something happens when they get into recovery. They think the training is over.
Anyone who has been around meetings knows that while the addict may take a vacation from the disease the disease does not forget the addict. While the alcoholic is taking a break from drinking their disease is growing. The older we get the less alcohol or drugs our poor liver can take. The brain never forgets how to use like an addict.
Recovery is not something you can buy, purchase at the cost of programs and meetings and then tuck it away in a drawer for the time you will need it. Recovery is a set of skills and they need to be practiced over and over.
Americans have grown heavier than ever before. Many of us engage in physical activity by watching it on T. V. instead of participating in the activity. Watching exercise won’t keep you in shape. A shelf full of self-help books won’t help your recovery if you don’t read them and then go on to practice the principles in those volumes. Recovery is something we need to keep practicing.
How hard are you running after your recovery?
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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