Addicts get a bad press don’t they? And more often than not it is justified by the actions of the addict – stealing, fighting, dangerous, manipulative, dishonest, unreliable, untrustworthy – all good adjectives to describe the behaviour of an addict in the grip of their full-blown addiction. Even when the same addict decides to get their lives together, to look deep within their soul and face the very demons that had driven them to despair, and the view around them starts to look brighter and more hopeful in recovery, the same world still only see’s that same old addict who is probably just spinning another lie so that they can move on to the next deception and the next high. 

Family and friends, the one’s that have perhaps been the most effected by the dark actions of the past, find it very difficult to see past the old you and look at the new you. Some even find it difficult to believe, and are perhaps even jealous of the fact that someone who behaved so badly, should be rewarded with any kind of happiness or serenity. It does, of course, directly correlate to the unhappy state of their own lives, a life they are not prepared to put the hard yards into change…just like an addict has to to get better. But this peer pressure and this perception can stop many people reaching out to recovery; fearful of the repurcussions of being tarred with the addict brush.

What many in your social circle don’t realize is just how hard it is to take that big step and decide to better yourself. Recovery isn’t something that just gets given, it’s something that each and everyone has to work fucking hard to first attain and then keep. 

So, don’t let the influence and thoughts of others deter you from the work you have to do on yourself, for yourself. Afterall, their opinion is none your business so don’t worry yourself with it.

However, I’m not going to paint a picture that is all flowers and blue skies.

In recovery, you must dig deeper to a level you never knew existed within in your spirit and mind, and then dig again. You have to go to places that you have hidden away in the darkest corners of your being – the places that are controlling your mind, body and soul, and look them square in the eye. And then when you have done that, you have to constantly check and make sure that those dark forces aren’t building again to control you in different areas of your life.

It takes time, sacrifice, patience, effort, pain and hard graft – but the reward does come. Slowly at first, and then more consistently. But it does come. You will learn that your drug, drink, or activity isn’t controlling you, but you are. You’ve been in charge all along, and all along you’ve been blaming everyone and everything else around you. You will start to learn to let go, and by doing so relieve yourself of the burden of self-doubt and pity, the constant knot in stomach, the pain in your head and the heaviness of your thoughts. I get new things every day that I need to let go of, sometimes I find it easy, others not so as I tussle with someone or something in my head, knowing that I can’t change and tussling with them or it nonetheless. As if I have some morose and macabre fascination with keeping the dark feeling alive. But after wrestling with it a bit I do come to my senses eventually and just let it go. 

Recovery is a ‘doing’ activity, simply staying clean and sober isn’t enough, and the sooner I realised that, and was willing to take those steps to living with all parts of myself, good and bad, the easier my recovery became. 

Recovery is the best thing that has happened to me, because I am now able to enjoy all the incredible things I have in my life – my daughters, my friends, my family, my work. A new lease of a real life has been given to me and today, I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Take a leap of faith today, don’t listen to the world around, trust yourself, and waiting for you on the other side are a bunch of people who will empathize, love and help you find your way…but you’ve got to jump, so do it, do it now!

If you need any help then please get in touch – just click this link: get help with addiction – fill in the brief form and your request will come directly to me, and will be treated in complete confidence xx

andrew x