There’s a sentiment in recovery that always sounds ridiculous at first. No matter how many times you hear someone describe this idea, a part of you thinks to yourself, “That’s ridiculous”. The sentiment goes something like this: While you get stronger in recovery, your addiction is always outside in the parking lot doing push-ups. Meaning, that for every ounce of strength you gain in recovery, somewhere, somehow, your addiction is training just as hard to be just as strong to try to take you out.
You can’t wrap your head around the idea of it, because your addiction is not some anamorphic manifestation living outside of yourself. Your addiction isn’t outside of yourself at all, which makes the image even more difficult to accept. How can you imagine that something that is only tangible through thoughts, actions, and behaviors, is somehow getting stronger and waiting for you when you are no longer feeding it through drug and alcohol abuse? As always, the sentiment seems ridiculous.
Once we start thinking it through, the idea makes a little more sense. We would think that the stronger we get in recovery the more weak our addiction might become. The more conviction we gain to stay abstinent, the less conviction we have to relapse and go back to using. Unfortunately, the catch about addiction is that the conviction to drink or use, the convincing ideology that somehow that is a viable solution for living through life, never goes entirely away. Whether or not that thought is somewhere doing push-ups in your brain is up for scientific validation. However, the thought, or at least the ability to think the thought of using and act on the thought of using, never goes away. Our power of choice, our inherent free will, is always with us. When it comes to addiction, our free will and our powerlessness over choice is always there to threaten us. Thinking about the sentiment some more, it starts to seem as though if we don’t capture our addiction first, it might be chasing us for the rest of our lives.
There is no trapping or ridding ourselves of addiction entirely. We can and we do learn to live entirely different lives which no longer necessitate the need for the abuse of drugs and alcohol. We can and we do retrain our brains, as well as our bodies, to be healthier and happier than they were when we using.
Tree House Recovery of Orange County, California is a premier men’s addiction treatment facility that uses eight different modalities to help our men become the best versions of themselves they can be. We teach our men that every day of their journey is something to celebrate, and that recovery isn’t a sprint– it’s a marathon. By showing our men how to celebrate each day’s victories, we show them that self love isn’t about what we have or haven’t done. It’s about getting a little closer to where we want to be. To get started with Tree House Recovery, call us today at (503) 850-2474