Getting help for a drug or alcohol addiction that has left you hopeless and cut off from anything good that was in your life can seem impossible. When a person finds themself at this low point with their addiction, it may seem that death is the only way out of it.
Recovery is possible at any stage of addiction, even for those who have become hope-to-die addicts. Knowing that others out there have overcome addiction in its darkest, most desperate forms is the first glimmer of hope in knowing recovery is possible. Knowing five simple truths about recovery will help you continue to build hope and lead you down the road to turning your life around.
This may seem like a strange thing to do, but just admitting you have completely lost control over your life and your use of drugs or alcohol is a powerful first step in finally getting the help you need. Surrender to the fact that you have no control over life, using drugs or alcohol, the idea that these substances will make you happy, and that someone or something else will save you. Just letting go of the idea of control often brings a huge realization, because so much of the life of an addict is about maintaining that. It seems the harder you try to maintain a grip on your addiction, the worse it gets. Let go of that and admit that the problem has become something that is bigger than you.
2. Get help from an outside source
This can a difficult step, but the truth is you can’t recover without some kind of professional assistance. This can take the form of rehab, a 12 step program, or talking with a therapist or doctor. Even if you believe that no one can really help you, do it anyway. Be ready to commit to and focus on whatever program you choose to go with, otherwise it won’t work. Hopefully, you have already fully surrendered before this step and will be ready to turn your life over to whatever it takes to reach recovery.
3. Recovery is hard and it takes time.
Just being aware of this fact will make all the difference in setting realistic expectations. Many people have relapsed several times before finally staying sober. It can months, years, or even decades to reach a full understanding of your addiction. There will be many obstacles along the way and you will need to face each and every one with understanding and focus. Keeping the idea of surrender and acceptance of your unhappiness will help you deal with these obstacles in healthy ways so that they just make you stronger.
4. Build hope.
At the beginning, there may have been little to no hope for ever changing a life ruled by addiction and desperation. Taking just the tiniest sliver of hope, which could be just knowing that others have made it through addiction, is the first step toward building a foundation of more hope and recovery. Once you complete this first step, look for other small things that provide hope. This can be the help or kindness that others offer you, or even something as simple as just going to rehab or a 12 step meeting. Hope is everywhere, it’s just hard to see when you’re not looking for it.
5. Continue to build your life.
Once you have asked for help, continued to stay focused and hopeful, and committed yourself to recovery, you will begin to notice that things have slowly gotten better. This improvement takes time and can only happen with continued effort and healthy expectations. You can slowly begin to build your life into something you can feel good about.