Addiction Recovery: Ebbs And Flows

May 26, 2010 — 15 Comments

When I am having a hard time with my addiction recovery for some reason I start to think that it is always hard, that I’m always struggling. Then I take a look at some of my previous posts and I realize…no I have had just as many easy and harmonious times as I have difficult times.

Ebbs and Flows is the best description relating to addiction recovery that I have heard in a long time. It was written to me by Scout in a comment that she had made to one of my posts over at The Discovering Alcoholic’s site.

My post was about my current feeling of loneliness and the fact that I thought being disconnected from my higher power was the main factor behind this feeling. Scout explained that her connection to G-d also ebbs and flows. Just reading that made me start to feel better. I guess it was that whole “identifying” thing at play.

Reading some older posts on my site and also from reading fellow addicts sites I can see just how true this whole ebb and flow thing really is. It doesn’t necessarily just have to do with my connection with G-d. It has more to do with my happiness and peace of mind within addiction recovery.

Sometimes I let myself get overwhelmed with the thought of spending the rest of my life trying not to relapse and thinking about all the work that goes into living a good life and being a good person. I feel blah and kind of boring. I feel that the pink cloud I originally walked around in has dropped me in the land of the gray. I examine my thoughts and behaviors and instead of accepting imperfections I think of myself as weird…this is when my addiction recovery ebbs.

Other times I am connected to my higher power, I’m able to take things Twenty-four hours a day without struggling to do so. I have peace of mind which to me equals happiness. I can laugh and have a good time. I’m not walking around in a pink cloud but I’m seeing life with all of it’s vivid colors. I seem to be right where I need to be on my road to recovery…this is when my addiction recovery flows.

What Have I Learned From All This?

And so realizing this, what have I learned? Well I will tell you. I have learned what countless other addicts and alcoholics have already learned. They have even tried to pass on their wisdom about this subject in the form of a catchy saying (we all know how much I love to spew out these addiction recovery sayings) “This too shall pass”.

Boom! It seems so simple and kind of common sense. I have said it to other people before, why didn’t it dawn on me to apply this to myself? Do I have to learn every single thing in life the hard way? It’s really starting to look that way.

Just in case you have not noticed from my writing…my addiction recovery is once again flowing. I got over the hump and did so in a way that allows me to feel good about myself. I didn’t allow myself to use…I hung on by the skin of my teeth and I made it through. I guess it’s at the toughest times when you really see how far along the road of recovery you have really come.

15 responses to Addiction Recovery: Ebbs And Flows

  1. What a lovely post and an important one, too. I think lots of newcomers think something is wrong when they are in an ebb period of recovery — I know I thought something was horribly wrong and that I was sure to relapse.
    So, what you write here is very helpful, Erin.
    Glad things have passed for you and you are on your way once again.
    Peace,
    Scout
    P.S. What Step are you on?

  2. Thanks so much for the encouraging comments. I appreciate seeing that people know where I’m coming from.

    As for the steps…It’s hard to say. I’m not big into the AA/NA right now. I think I’m exploring other options in my recovery. That’s not to say that I think that AA/NA isn’t helpful to people. It definitely is and it was very helpful to me in the first few months of my recovery.

    I never got a sponsor and I never started to work on my steps…I have the first step down, that’s for sure.

  3. Hi Erin,

    I have to tell you what an inspiration you are. I too am a recovering addict. I was severly addicted to pain killers (hydrocodone) my withdrawals were the worst pain and now I’m weaning off Cymbalta and it has been a nightmare.

    I found your website when I started looking for inspiration. I have 3 girls and a 2nd marriage. This has been a personal hell for me that I never thought I’d go through. It is amazing how you can deny that you have a problem. I was probably taking 7-10 Norcos a day for over a year. I absolutely thought I was going to die a couple of times and the depression was severe.

    Anyways, not meaning to make anyone feel down but I have to say your story struck home to me. We seem to have alot in common and I can’t tell you how good it feels to read your thoughts and inspirational stories on a regular basis. I definitely believe in a higher power and know I too will soon see more good days than bad!

    I work from 9-6 pm each day. The last 4 hours of each day seem to drag and drag. I work with tons of paperwork which never seems to stop. But I like knowing I can read about people such as yourself and see how strong you really are.

  4. Thank you very much Tina. It’s nice to know that people are reading and identifying with what I am writing. Along with helping myself I like to think I’m helping others.

    Congratulations on your recovery.

  5. Forgive me but what does G-d mean? is it censoring the work god?

  6. It’s funny that you should ask that. I have always written out the word God. I have never left out the letter o until I started to see it written that way everywhere.

    I noticed it online and also in books. I wasn’t sure if that was how you were supposed to write it and that I just someone missed out on this information my entire life so I decided I would try it with this post.

    And here someone is questioning me on it so I guess I will be going back to the normal way of writing out the word.

  7. Erin
    I just found your site and I am so glad I did. I am a social worker in child welfare… a large percentage of the parents I work with are involved in the system due to substance abuse issues. Although I have not been in this situation myself, over the years of working with these parents I have come to appreciate the amount of strength and character one must have to abstain from the substances once addicted. My hat goes off to you and others like you who are sincerely working for sobriety, both in your body and your mind. It is probably the most difficult challenge you will have in life, but being successful gives you the opportunity to give hope and inspiration to so many who also struggle.
    Thank you for your honesty and openness… I will be back, always trying to understand how it feels to be a recovering addict so I can best serve those I work with.
    Brooke
    http://www.plainadvice.com

  8. I had someone come up to me today (after my recovery group) to tell me how they had faced adversity without giving up. He didn’t use. But he was also struggling with the fact that he was the only one who realized how difficult this was, his family doesn’t have a clue.

    He had come to a high point because he was proud of one of the rare successes in his program, yet was coming close to falling into a low because it didn”t seem like anyone realized his achievement. I think it was only then that the light bulb went off and he started to realize how it”s so important being a part of a recovery program. There are some things that only someone in recovery can relate and understand, much less provide support.

  9. G-d written this way is a Jewish custom. We do not write out the word G-d in order to protect it from harm — like being erased or defaced in some manner.
    That’s why I do it anyway.
    Peace,
    Scout

  10. good blog, we have similar stories, similar use history, and similar yahoo answers addictons, thanks for your thoughts

  11. Thank you so much for writing and posting this. I needed a little something today and I’m really glad I surfed upon it. The idea of ebb and flow is perfectly apt for me right now; it’s true in other facets of life/nature so why not in recovery? As with many things, it seems so obvious once someone else says it. Some days are always gonna be better than others but that’s no reason to it give up everything I’ve fought for and let the demon win. I will win “by any means necessary.” I honestly believe that everything that happens (even these ebb-y blahs days) is ultimately for the best in my spiritual growth. I cheers you with my lemon water, my friend.

  12. Very well put Ryan. I still lose sight of the ebb and flow thing from time to time and you’re comment on this post came at such a great time for me. Thank you.

  13. Brainwave Entrainment has worked wonders for me throughout the couple of years that I\\\’ve been listening to it.
    I had astounding outcomes in a brief time period and I still continue to listen to the entrainment sessions every single day.

  14. Pink clouds and rollercoasters. the pink cloud- the joy of new found I can do this optimism in early recovery when you are determines, then coping with life ( which is probably considerably more messed up than before the addiction) is very difficicult, as we try to live as ‘normal’ people yet cope with whatever issues caused our drug / drink use initiall, it can break our resolve, and before you know it we are back on the rollercoaster of relapse and recovery again, for me this seems to be an everlasting cycle, all the time trying but never actually geting anywhere. This is a really good blog erin – keep up the good work, I for one shall continue to read and try to use advise offered on the site- thank you!

  15. Your work/blog is really amazing. Your candid and clear writing has been so inspirational to me. Please keep it up! You are really helping people know they are not alone in this. Sending you more power!!

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