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What If Rehab Doesn’t Work?

May 16, 2014

All too often, change in recovery is seen as a negative, especially when we are new. It does not have to be that way.

Some changes are obviously good ones: our health improves, our closest relationships stabilize, new ones form, and maybe we find steady employment. Others are not so good. Some relationships we thought would last end up collapsing, old activities lose their appeal, or maybe we actually lose a job due to the turmoil our drinking and using has caused.

Most of us would prefer the former, but even the latter changes in recovery can be turned into positives. Maybe that job was doing you and your loved ones more harm than good; maybe those people who are no where to be found are gone for the better.

The hard part is reading the situations and finding that silver lining.

The Fellowship and work with our sponsors and sponsees helps us read these situations more clearly. Often times, addicts and alcoholics get so wrapped up in the fear of something new that any benefits are quickly forgotten in exchange of fear.

After all, fear is a land in which we dwelled and travelled for a very, very long time. For all intents and purposes, we are learning how to walk again. We are learning how to function in normal, happy lives both with the outside community, but more importantly, with God and ourselves.

That is not to diminish the importance of the fear; fear is the go-to emotion for many (if not most) of us. Suddenly, we are faced with that terrifying question of, “Now what?” While many might laugh, I know that not having any answers to those kinds of questions took me back out more than once.

It was not until later that I found out not having an answer is okay—not just “okay,” but preferable. We are not expected to have all the answers. Hell, any answers we have when we first come in are usually wrong, or responses to the wrong questions!

No, the fear of change in recovery and life becomes as mundane and banal as breathing. It is constant. We learn to adapt. The only real difference is that we now have the tools to deal with those changes as they occur—including the big ones.

If we stick around long enough, those big ones will come. It is only a matter of time. Even those are not as terrifying, though, for we know that whatever comes our way, God will see fit to do and provide for us what we cannot do or provide for ourselves.

Eventually, we also find hope in change where we used to find fear. We know now that even though the good times and bad times will come, they are temporary. What are not temporary are the Fellowship and the Program…at least, they are not temporary, provided we keep coming back and trying. Neither those of us in recovery nor God will give up, provided you keep fighting your battle as well.

Change in Recovery

What is your experience with change in recovery? Let us know in the comments section below!

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