Getting clean and sober is a new freedom – a life of happier times No longer are we chained to the bottle or to our drug of choice. Our physical health begins to improve – no more hideous sickness in the mornings, with shakes and sweats, headaches, and stomach problems. Not forgetting the awful low feeling we have when we remember the mess we have made again of the previous day. No longer do we look at cuts and bruises that have mysteriously appeared on our person. Our appetite returns and those of us who were a bit thin through malnourishment put on weight. We become generally healthier beings without as many colds and sniffles, aches and pains. Mentally, we improve beyond belief.
“an inner peace”
Our panic attacks lessen and we gain in confidence. We find an inner peace – a serenity – that we have not felt for a very long time. When we first started drinking or using, it made us feel normal. By the end or our time drinking or using, the drink and drugs actually made us feel worse. They stopped working and actually took away more than they ever gave us.
Having stopped drinking or using, we then need to change ourselves. In the past, we tried really hard to control the people around us and thought the answer was that everyone and everything else had to change so we would feel better. In recovery we learn that the only thing we can change is ourselves and that we are powerless over other people, places and things. If we surrender and change our attitude, amazing things can happen. Don’t be negative – anyone and everyone can change if they want to. Anyone and everyone can quit the drink or the drugs for ever if they want to enough.
“Death is the only certain thing that is going to happen in all our lives.”
We need to think more positively than in the past. Being unhappy and miserable is optional. That is not to say bad things will never happen to us again – they will. But we no longer have to let them get us down and we do not have to be permanently in pain because of them. Of course we are going to be unbearably sad when loved ones die – but many funerals are now thanksgivings for people’s lives and the love they gave us and things they taught us during their lives. Death is the only certain thing that is going to happen in all our lives.
Someone I know who after many tries in rehab finally got sober, went home at last as a changed person with a new acceptance and changed attitude. She had really ‘got it’ this time. After around 9 months her daughter’s premature baby died at 10 weeks’ old. She was so grateful that she was sober to support her daughter. A year previously she would have added to her daughter’s pain and sadness. She would have been drinking and stayed drunk. She did not turn to the bottle in the darkest of times for her family. The bottle was no longer her solution.
We have to believe that our higher power will not ask us to handle more than we can bear. We will be all right, even when things do not look so good.
The Haynes Clinic is an alcohol and drug rehab clinic which offers detox and counselling for people with addictions. Call 01462 851414 for free and confidential advice.