I’ll take the time in this post to personally thank my family for the continuing support and all they have helped me as I scratch to regain my life.
The struggle for balance is real, although my relative peace of mind in my emotions and relationships I am first to admit I am far from balancing “The Big 4″ that I mentioned in my previous post (mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially). So as I ask myself these important questions I might as well write about them to maybe dissect this issue. When is the right time to incorporate work, romantic relationships, and money management into a recovering addicts life? When is it okay to think ahead and set goals, to be able to live a balanced, secure life?
I have been starting to ask myself these questions, and it’s a big step for someone like myself that needs the time necessary to not only be comfortable being sober but to naturally handle additional stressful occurrences that accompany the world of work, money, and relationships. So how can I gauge when it is safe to proceed and test my resolve? Personally, I have seen many people early in sobriety run too fast into life; they believe they have control (my last post speaks on control issues) and end up relapsing due to all the pressure. Since this is life and death, I believe it to be a critical issue. It falls under relapse prevention and needs the attention on an individual basis.
Many in the program emphasized time limits for this that or the other, I believe it is basically for the new person to learn how to be in touch and steady with themselves and sobriety to a specific level allowing them to live life on life’s terms. I understand why but nothing is perfect. Everyone has different levels of sincerity and experience, ability to grasp concepts and be honest with themselves. It is not a race, and I don’t necessarily like the approach of having any time limit, who am I to say you’re either ready for this or that?
It’s just my opinion.
So I might as well give my personal belief in when I know I’ll be ready to make these somewhat major decisions in my life again. My recovery does not apply to anyone but myself so I would love to hear some of your personal views on the subject.
Being extremely lucky to be able to live rent free and having the support of my family has helped tremendously. Without them, I’m not sure if I would have been not only able to do what I have been but most likely would be dead. I have a life to make up for the mistakes I made, and it takes time, but hopefully, I can live up to whatever potential I have.
Being aware of my reactions have been huge, and identifying what negatives I should avoid (in people places and things) helped me navigate my social life to the good people I have in my life now. As far as being in a romantic relationship I will immediately walk away from someone that I even get a hint will threaten my sobriety. The woman I’m with now brings me absolutely no stress, and we are completely honest and open with one another, building the trust needed to have a truly mature and productive relationship. No matter how close you might become while in “active” addiction the relationship isn’t based on reality, the drug is the ruler, divider, and will destroy whatever is between you. So any sign of going back I won’t hesitate to leave, and it goes both ways, if I screw up, I go down on my own.
Working is an interesting subject for me. Personally, some of us have many responsibilities, but luckily I never was blessed with a child or have much of anything of extreme (when I first got of rehab). I worked my ass off in many labor-intensive jobs for years, and to tell you the absolute truth the vision of a “dead-end” job working for quick pay does not appeal to me anymore. The stress in my mind created by the reality of wasting my time on work that requires little brainpower helps no one but the drug dealer I’ll be calling to keep me from suicide. I’m 33 years old and time is ticking away, so spending my time studying and possibly going to school to form an idea or direction of my life is fine with me.
I need a career not a job and don’t care if I am broke in the process of finding my path.
We all must realize we have this one life to live, our responsibilities and obligations do not change this vital fact. How will you or I live your life? Through the years of pain, loss, sickness, exhaustion, worry, guilt, depression, swimming through an endless sea of negativity has taught me that I have wasted much of my time and life on externals outside of my control.
Now I can finally be grateful and enjoy my life the person I am without being high before the thought was absolutely unthinkable for me. My understanding has to lead me to be patient and practice control. Letting I will go but allowing my principles guide me, the hardest part is knowing when or not to act.
Every day I try testing myself and changing my reactions, vocabulary, and attitude. Trying to remain balanced is my objective, and it’s been going well, which is encouraging, but I still catch myself having trouble with mood swings and anxiety on occasion.
If I’ll ever know what I want remains a mystery to me. It could be something I might have to deal with forever, but acceptance of my this and my shortcomings is just part of it. We have to remember that these issues just don’t effect addicts, but everyone that is trying to find their way in this life.
Being okay with trying and failing, constructively and honestly looking at my mistakes and flaws. Trying my best to be a better person day by day I believe is a good start, this comes under the mental aspects involved in work and relationships. When I feel any trigger, I always address it immediately. Because the urge and craving can and is strong at times, but my resolve has become stronger due to the “we” part of the program, without others relying and counting on me I would fail and use again. Despite all the self-knowledge and spirituality, it comes down to the people in my life now. It is bigger than me, a power greater than myself.
Now comes the physical part, usually anyone newly sober gains weight and eats a lot to counterbalance the missing endorphins, etc. I have to get my diet regulated and my body back in shape. Everyday time does its toll on my body plus the damage I already did. It is harder to recover from a workout at 33 years old versus when I used too at 25 obviously, and the motivation is hard to obtain. Physically I must push myself to do more because I believe the mind and body are connected and want to start living a healthy lifestyle. I believe this is my next plan of action. So I got a yearly recreation center pass and must push myself to start.
I remain active in my recovery and continue to try and help others to the best of my ability, but I admit I have a very far way to go to where I want to be. I know we all have different lives and circumstances, feel free to share in what your goals are and when you feel is the right time to take action.
Thanks for reading