A new movement in the rehab community calls for a change in the way we refer to alcoholics in a program of sober living. The reason is that many alcoholics do not want to go through the treatment they have already endured. Many are just embarrassed to admit that they need help and would rather hide from their condition.
As an example, my husband had been told by a friend that he was going to be a changed person because of his drug use, when in reality it was because of a family member who had passed on. I am sure the same is true of the family members of our addicts.
So when they tell us that our addict will change when he is “in recovery” from his addiction, what they really mean is that they are telling us that we can change ourselves by choosing to change the choices that are causing the drug use. The only way we can do this is to take charge of our lives. The drug use and the addictions that are part of it are not going away, so our actions in our lives now dictate our future. This means that the first step is admitting that we have a problem.
Alcoholics are not perfect. There is nothing wrong with having a certain amount of a flaw in character. In fact, when we admit that we have a problem, we will also find that our flaws are a huge asset in our quest for sobriety. The more we are willing to admit and work on the aspects of ourselves that we do not like about ourselves, the more we can change our life to become what we want it to be. When we are able to accomplish this change in ourselves, we can then be more open to help others change as well.
Sane, sober living is not a one time thing. It should be something that is done in the process of an addiction and not something that is done once. A lot of addicts do not want to change because once they are “out”, they are still addicted. So what they do not realize is that there is another road to follow and they need to continue to search for the same kind of life they had before.
But in a world where it is so easy to live the life we want, why do people who are addicted take the new direction and put it off? It is because once you admit to yourself that you have a problem, you have given yourself permission to do something about it. When you keep putting it off or hiding it, you may be able to get away with a short term rehab, but in the long run your life is going to be ruined.
In a long run, you will be healthier, happier and you will have more energy. Once you accept that you have a problem, you can work toward a solution.
I know that when I look at my husband, who went through long term sober living treatment, I can see the results. I also know that the transformation is real and that he is a completely different person today.
He has more friends and is having a good life. He does not drink any more and his social life has improved greatly. He is no longer drinking any more and is not in the dangerous habit of doing drugs or having sex under the influence of alcohol. He has taken the necessary steps to become a better person because he knows his problem and is willing to work hard to fix it. His family has a much closer relationship with him and he loves them more than ever before.
In some cases, it takes a period of time for someone to get over a drug addiction and that is what is happening here. He went through it and that is how it works.
If you are not willing to do the work it takes to get your own life back and if you think that your problem can be hidden and left alone, you are not ready for the commitment needed to put yourself through the recovery process or for your family members to do so either. If you want to have a healthy, happy, life you have to make the commitment and do the work. It is worth it in the end to be able to live a life without the use of drugs or to live a life with the use of drugs.