Monday, August 1, 2016

Day One of Addiction Recovery

Starting Day One of Recovery

Starting addiction recovery starts with day one.  You will meet people with 6 months, 6 years, and 16 years in active recovery, and the key to their success, is each of them started with day one.  

Day one of addiction recovery is a day filled with intense psychological thoughts and feelings.  When I woke up that day, all I could think about was not being able to have a drink.  That thought lingered through my mind all day, and physical and emotional tribulations followed.  On this day, I had the realization that I was done with drinking, at least for the day.  Having been in treatment once before, I knew the jargon of taking it "one day at a time", and "today is the best day of the rest of your life".  To be honest, the most intense emotion was anger.  I was angry that I let alcohol take control over my life again, and my addiction was in '5th gear', traveling at 100mph,  I was sorely mistaken that alcohol didn't take control over my life again, addiction to alcohol has always been in my life.  At a certain point, the addiction manifested itself to a point where I had to make a critical decision in my life.  I could continue to drink and lose my family, and potentially my life, or go to treatment for the second time, and live a life in active recovery.  Over five years ago, in making the decision to join the active addiction recovery force again, I changed my life in ways I never thought could exist.

Some say day one is difficult, but not as difficult as the next few days in sobriety, and I disagree.  That is usually said by those who have not been through the first week of sobriety, or have rationalized their thoughts to believe this is true.  I believe each and every day is equally as difficult, but day one is the most exhausting day, mentally. I realized how physically addicted I was to alcohol around 5 o'clock the first day I started my second journey through recovery.  I was told earlier the night before that I must quit drinking, or lose everything, and I know it was serious this time.

In most cases, a person doesn't decide to become sober from a substance, or behavior, because they want to.  Usually there is a negative situation, or circumstance that drives the person to making the decision to become sober.  These situations often involve: relationships, employment, incarceration, and health concerns.  The first time I went through recovery, my decision was based on severe legal issues, health concerns, and relationships with family / friends.  When a person is dealing with trials in their life, and their only coping mechanism for years has been to drink or drug, it is difficult to manage staying sober the first few days, and effectively deal with negative situations.  The first few days of my recovery, I remember sleeping during the day, trying to stay busy (when I wasn't sleeping), listening to music, shaking, trembling, sweating, having a fever, and eating when I could.  I went through withdrawals at home, but I was aware of the symptoms of health problems which would require me to go to the hospital.  I recommend that you go to the hospital, or a treatment detox center when going through withdrawals, as alcohol withdrawal may actually kill you.  Placing yourself in a hospital or treatment center, will also take you out of your environment in which you are comfortable drinking and/or drugging, and you will most likely receive psychological assistance for the anxiety you will experience.   

Remember that you are not alone in addiction recovery, everyone in active addiction recovery had their first day.  Reach out for help, and assistance through people that are neutral, or people in your life that are supportive. 

It's Not Going to be Easy, but It's Going to be Worth It!!!

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