Every now and then, I get the urge to do some writing. I have found that when these urges come, my mind become consumed with several thoughts and it is best that I follow through with the idea, as I will not rest until I do so. As I was driving to work on this morning, the thought, “It Doesn’t Just Happen” popped into my head. Now as strange as this may sound, I have to admit this type of thing typically happens to me quite frequently. To be honest, this is one reason, why I choose to journal.
See writing to me, is a form of expression, where I am able to be myself and not feel as though I am being judged by anyone. Writing brings calmness to my soul and awakens my inner spirit. I feel so alive when I am able to sit down and just explore my thoughts and develop and understanding of them. I have also come to learn that by writing I am able to help others develop an understanding of themselves and others, which can be just as enlightening and fulfilling. A gift, I truly believe that was given to me by God, I plan on utilizing it to the best of my ability and touching the lives of many.
As I continued to drive, I pondered the thought, “It Doesn’t Just Happen” many things came to mind. All too often, the statement, “Why don’t they just quit?” is what I hear and/or read from individuals, when referring to individuals who have found their lives plagued by substance abuse. Each time, I hear or read such statement, I find myself fighting the urge to respond, going on a tyrant about how substance abuse and the process of recovery isn’t something that you can turn off and on like a water faucet. See, recovery is not an EVENT, but more of a PROCESS, just like everything else in our life. Have you ever found yourself trying to quit something that you had started and the task was much harder than you imagined?
Why is it that we look down on those who battle with a disease that does not discriminate between the young, old, rich, and/or poor? How quick we are to judge those whose life,as we perceive it to be, is useless and the individual is worthless because they have a struggle in their life that needs addressing? Yes, you may be thinking that I am only looking at this from a counselor perspective, however, what most people don’t know about me is that I have first hand knowledge, as I am the Adult Child(Daughter) of an Alcoholic, who has seen the recovery process work firsthand with my father for over 20 years. See,my drive and passion for working with such a unique, often ridiculed and stigmatized, population, is because I desire to give back to others what I was given back when I was just 9 years old, MY FATHER. My father story is one that that inspires me daily and motivates me to continue to do the work that I do.
In life, however, alcohol and drugs are not the only things that we find ourselves recovering from. We all have bad habits (i.e. drinking to many sodas, eating unhealthy, watching to much TV, listening to too much music, abusive relationships, negative peer associations, anger problems, etc) that we have identified as a problem in our life and need to let go, yet, we find ourselves torturing ourselves because it is what has become comfortable to us. Within the process of recovery, we find that we have to make changes in order to be successful; however, those changes that cause us to experience fear. Fear of the unknown…..
How will my life be different if I change this behavior, and, will I be able to deal with the all the changes that I will have to make; are questions that we begin to ask ourselves leading us to have self-defeating thoughts and sabotaging our recovery.
Ultimately, your recovery depends on your motivation to change. Identifying your reasons to change is vital to overall process and your level of and/or lack of success. Changing to appease others, to prove yourself to others, or because you’ve been told you need to change(external motivation) will only take you so far in your recovery.
Becoming internally motivated, changing your behavior, your bad habits, or your negative thoughts because you have realized that these things have caused you to experience negative consequences in your life and you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, will bring you much more success and happiness in your life. It is at that time that you begin to put forth the time, effort, and energy to begin making those changes. You have begun to work the Stages of Change, identifying that you have a problem and it needs to be change, taking steps and/or making plans to make the changes, and being willing to work towards making the changes. Now, I have to admit, this process is not going to be EASY….. To be honest, this process will be very hard, daunting, and at times, very stressful, yet, what I can promise is that in the end it will be well worth it.
What is it that you need to Change in your life? Are you ready to experience the Recovery Process?
When the time comes, I want you to remember…….
IT DOESN’T JUST HAPPEN!!!!!!!!!!!