Our lives were totally upside down when we entered treatment and nothing else mattered except our addiction. By the grace of our Higher Power, we made a conscious decision to change. Slowly but surely, we learned new skills, rediscovered our sense of self and remembered there are things we care about a lot more than addiction. So now we’re in recovery, taking things day-by-day, and it works. However, at some point, we will get a jolt, as some major life event comes from out of nowhere to test our recovery like never before.
Our first major challenge was just leaving treatment to begin with. It was a supportive environment where no one judged us. We also didn’t have to worry about life’s menial details like paying bills, getting cut off in traffic, or some deadline at work. That all changed when we left but, for the most part, we successfully transitioned into a new daily routine. Great! Everything then runs smoothly as we attend meetings, avoid people, places and things, and use all of our other important recovery tools. We even start to feel confident that things are totally under control and then BAM! We get blindsided.
It can be almost anything, life’s full of surprises. Perhaps it’s getting fired, losing a loved one or getting slapped with a lawsuit. A blow like that can lead to a knee jerk reaction. Your old thinking is just dying to jump back in and take control. You can’t let it. It may feel like a shot, bump or hit of something might be more effective than calling your sponsor, but that will only send you tumbling back to the same hell you escaped from, once the numbness wears off.
The key thing to remember is that you are not alone and the skills you learned were not selected a random. Millions of people have successfully transitioned from addiction to recovery. The tools we learned in treatment have stood the test of time, even when pitted up against life’s toughest hardships. Trust in them and use them, because when you do, even the big things are overcome by the strength of your recovery.