Staying Positive in Addiction Recovery

April 6, 2010 — 4 Comments

I was finding it tough, even as recently as last week, to keep a positive outlook on my life. I had gone through the pink cloud stage of recovery and had ended up in the gray. It just started to feel as if the rest of my life was going to be this big struggle against drugs and alcohol and it all felt a little overwhelming.

It dawned on me that usually if I had a bad week like I just did I would do anything and everything to escape the reality of it. Feeling depressed or really feeling anything at all was never acceptable to me. People aren’t supposed to feel down. I must be weired because I don’t walk around smiling and whistling all the time. This is really how I thought. It’s like I was convinced there was some perfect world out there that I wasn’t able to be a part of. How unfair, why me? That is when I felt the need to use a mood altering substance. If I couldn’t obtain total happiness on my own then surely drugs would do the trick.

Something happened though, I made it through my little funk and I’m feeling hopeful and positive again. I didn’t use any mood altering substances to stuff my feelings or numb myself into oblivion. I just allowed myself to feel down.

I woke up one morning, the sun was shining and it was actually warm outside. I found that I had a smile on my face. Right then, I knew it was over. I had made it through. The saying “this too shall pass” was made for situations just like this.

Staying positive throughout addiction recovery is not always going to be easy. It’s just not. There are going to be times in my life that I feel down, sad, mad or embarrassed. What I need to remember is this is all part of being human. Feelings are healthy. Sure sometimes they may be uncomfortable but they will always pass.

By remembering that the bad feelings are temporary I am being positive. I’m saying ok, I feel like crap right now and I’m not very happy but soon I will be happy again. Whether it is one day from now or ten days from now, I will be happy again.

I had recently red a book called The Spirituality of Imperfection. I absolutely loved it. Every time I would read a chapter or two I gained a new understanding about life and feelings and well, spirituality. I would feel very positive after reading some of this book.

The thing that I thought was so great about The Spirituality of Imperfection is that the author understood that spirituality is not something that can be explained in any formal definition. Examples of spirituality can only be given through storytelling. The stories give some sort of understanding of what it is to be spiritual. We can identify with stories and by identifying we can understand the meaning.

The Spirituality of Imperfection makes a great point through stories. Being perfect is not obtainable and as soon as we truly accept that the happier we will be in life.

4 responses to Staying Positive in Addiction Recovery

  1. I know it sounds silly, but I just try to concentrate on consciously identifying that I am currently in a funk.

    Things seem to be just a little less depressingly overwhelming when I can reassure myself that all is not loss, that I am just in a funk. The trick is being able to identify this at the time, not only in retrospect.

    Sometimes I am able to, sometimes not.

  2. Wow, another excellent post. I was feeling a little down before I read your post and felt a little better after reading it. I don’t even remember how I found your site but it is a God send. I thank God for you.

  3. omg thank you so much for posting that .. I’ve been feeling totally empty and numb although I have been clean and sober for the three months now.. but due to my addiction I have hurt many loved ones on the way .. I regret every single thing I have done.. I’ve pushed so many people away, and I’ve lost those who were the closest to me.. I’ve passed up so many opportunities, and now when I go to parties or any kind of social gathering i see people whispering, and saying bad stuff about me because of the messed up things I would do at parties, although I am happy with my progress, and proud, and am graduating and going to college in the fall. I still don’t feel as happy as I used to be before doing the drugs and alcohol, I just feel completely empty.In order to deal with any feelings, stresses, emotions I was experiences I would use drugs, and alcohol thinking that it would make me feel better, and all the problems would go away but I have learned that is is okay to feell stressed,angry,depresed, or sad, I am supposed to . I am a human being, and just like the rest of us I have feelings.Although I have my temptations due to the fact I am not completely happy where addicton has landed me at this point in my life, I stay postive and determined to do better, and go far with my life.

    • way to go brittney! I really like your spirit! & yeah I do feel the same! As you shared your problems, I could clearly see my own reflection! thanks, that makes me feel “you’re not the only one” & also, we’re all there for each other!

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