Getting Into Recovery
It took years for me to realize that I was an addict. And even longer to admit it. My road to addiction started in high school, where I was shy and socially awkward until I found alcohol. Then my life became more fun. I felt like I finally fit in. College was my first experience being away from home for any real length of time. Right from the start there were keg parties, mixers, and the aroma of marijuana coming from my freshman hall. I fell right in with the party people and it wasn’t long before I experimented with other drugs. As years went by, my using continued and got worse. It took a while, but I finally found that I couldn’t stop.
I eventually ended up in rehab. It’s a common story these days. Little did I know how much my life would change. For the better. It wasn’t an easy process. It took years. Early on, I thought I knew what was best for me. I was an army of one. I was so wrong. The mistakes I have made in my recovery have taught me that I had to stop being so self-centered.
Recovery has given me many gifts. I have learned how important honesty is. Honesty with myself and others. I don’t have to try and remember what excuse I made, or who I said I was with. It’s incredibly freeing to be able to tell the truth. I also try to admit when I am wrong. Not just to myself, but to the person I wronged.
Recovery has given me a reliance on God that gives me peace of mind. I have been through many difficult times during my journey. When I look back, I can see how God was teaching me that I needed to trust Him to orchestrate the outcome.
Recovery has taught me that it’s not all about me. I have come to value time spent helping others. I volunteer at a treatment center to talk with other medical professionals who have just begun their journey in recovery. It helps me remember how I was and how far I’ve come.
I used to think of success as a having nice house, a vacation home, a great practice, nice vacations, and a great car. Those things are not so important anymore. I want be a good husband, father, and friend. I want to be kind-hearted and helpful to others. Because of my journey in recovery, I am able to have open, intimate, and honest conversations with my wife and kids. I am willing to be vulnerable and own up when I really botched it. Recovery has helped restore relationships within my family. Broken relationships have been healed. I go on date nights with my wife and have father-son and father-daughter weekends.
In short, getting into recovery, and staying in recovery, has given me the best life I could ever have. It’s been a long, hard road getting to this point, but I wouldn’t change a thing.