Evolution of Self
The evolution of self.
You gotta admit that after so many years we get comfortable in a certain behavior, we like what we like and we do what we do. It’s our life right? We think a certain way, talk a certain way, act a certain way. It’s human nature. We expect people to behave the exact same way, we characterize people based off our experiences, right? The homeless guy or girl begging for change at the corner? Do we have empathy for their struggles or do we just write them off as a vagrant and a drug addict? How we view them is a direct reflection on us or is it? If I told you that in 2017 I stayed at a homeless shelter downtown for 4 months, would that change your opinion of me? If I told you I nearly drank myself to death for about 20 years, would that change your opinion about me? If I told you I smoked, injected, sniffed just about every illicit drug I could get my hands on, would that change your opinion of me?
I’m just one of faces of change that you see, there are millions of others in recovery just like me. People do change, and some people do struggle finding their way back. If I told you that inside every addict is a person that is lost, confused, alone, would that make a difference? People misunderstand one key concept about the addiction lifestyle, it stops being a party and becomes a necessity for them to feel anything. Addiction is the most manipulative habit on the planet. It can twist a persons mentality so bad that the only brief respite is that ‘high’ that isn’t really a high anymore. It overwhelms the brain and the only way to stop the cravings would be with a never ending dope supply. That’s where it manipulates us again, we start sacrificing our morals and beliefs to feed this ‘monster’ inside us that just won’t stop!! You say why don’t they just stop using? Excellent question!! Because they don’t know how!! Abstinence from drugs or alcohol is only a temporary fix, it can be done by a lucky few but for the majority of Addicts it will take wholesale life changes. We have to learn a new way to live, a new way to cope with triggers. Our behavior must change. Our thinking process must change. We must change.
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish then he will never go hungry 😋
We must help them understand their addiction, why they do what they do and why they think like they do. Education enlightens the mind but it’s still only half the battle. We must also teach them better decision making and life skills, better coping mechanisms. If a person just gets sober without the basic knowledge on what to do when they renter the real world then they have a higher chance of not staying sober.
Another misunderstood concept is the importance of community. I’ll expand on this, the fellowship of people in recovery is amazing, it’s a tight family bond that people need to get thru some challenging times. I wanted to address the importance of the outside community, yes I’m going there. People in recovery need the outside community too, we can’t hide in the rooms 24/7/365 and expect to fully embrace recovery. The goal of recovery is to live a happy, fulfilled life. Do I fear being judged of my past? No, I lived it. I’m not that same guy anymore, I don’t think, act or behave that way anymore. If someone wants to judge me on my past then go ahead, I didn’t let it stop me from changing my view of the world. I look for the light in people, if they don’t have it yet then they can use mine.