John Keats once poetically penned that “There is nothing stable in the world; uproar’s your only music.” Quirky author Tom Robbins writes in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, “Disorder is inherent in stability. Civilized man doesn’t understand stability. He’s confused it with rigidity. Our political and economic and social leaders drool about stability constantly. It’s their favorite word, next to ‘power’.”
Stability does give us a sense of power. In a world that is otherwise chaos, when we achieve stability, we feel as though we have accomplished something profoundly great. We are stable while the rest of the world flounders about in uncertainty. Behind the illusion of power in stability is an even greater fantasy: control. The idea is that stability means we are in control of our lives, that we have power over ourselves and our surroundings, and things are a little less chaotic.
For men in recovery, the idea of stability is a necessary and an actually attainable dream. Addiction is many things, one of which is absolute chaos. Getting sober means returning to a state of normalcy and stability. To the addicted brain, stability is chaos. Stability feels like a threat since the addicted brain is used to chaos. Though stability is unsettling, it isn’t as chaotic as it feels. Life is still unpredictable and full of surprises. A foundation of stability is what helps men lean into the chaos of things not being chaotic anymore, as well as the chaos which arises.
You have time to breathe
It isn’t until you take a deep breath that you realize you aren’t sure the last time you took one. It means that you have downtime between life’s more chaotic moments to take a deep breath, relax, and reboot.
You aren’t thriving in chaos
While it is true that life is full of unpredictable events, it can be calm for long periods of time. Thriving in chaos isn’t really living- its surviving. Stability gives you the chance to build a life for yourself and decide how you want that to look instead of jumping from one fire to the next.
You can prioritize your mental health
Chaos means having to be on the edge, on the go, all of the time. Stability offers you the chance to prioritize your mental health instead of working on the fringes of your mental capacity.
At Tree House Recovery in Portland, Oregon, we’re helping men find freedom from addiction by creating sustainable change for a sustainable recovery. For information on our men’s treatment programs, call us today: (855) 969-5181