“I could never be like him” is something most men in early recovery have said out loud while looking, defeatedly, at someone they admire. At the beginning of the recovery journey, any other stage of recovery seems next to impossible to be able to accomplish. Everything in the first six moths to year truly lives by the adage of taking things “one day at a time”, sometimes even one hour at a time. Early recovery is riddled with difficult choices as the brain and the body learn how to live again, without drugs and alcohol. The idea of having healthy relationships, successful careers, a family, a home, or even some kind of happiness outside the influences of mind altering substances seems far fetched. Biochemically, the brain literally cannot wrap itself around the idea of life improving in recovery. Personally, and sometimes spiritually, we have a difficult time wrapping our mind around the idea of having confidence, feeling worthy, working hard, having positive results, or even getting out of the early recovery stage alive. We can’t imagine a time when recovery wont be challenging, when living day to day will be commonplace, or when one day, some other newcomer, is going to look at us and say “I could never be like him”.
For our recovery, we are told not to look for the differences, but to seek out the similarities between ourselves and peers in recovery. Additionally, we are encouraged not to judge people by their outsides, especially not as a point of comparison for how we are feeling about ourselves on the inside. We have to realize that for men in recovery, everyone is a role model and it doesn’t particularly matter how well each of us are doing or not doing as long as we’re getting sober. The journey of others creates a role in our lives to follow the model of, and our own journey, including discovering and admiring the journey of others, creates a role to be modeled after in someone else’s life. Recovery is altruistic in this sense. As men of recovery, we learn to grow by example and lead by example.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474 to see how we can help you today.