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Following Direction to a New Way of Life

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In the last three years I have had many attempts at getting sober. I went to rehab numerous times, went through detox programs, and even tried to relocate. None of these measures ever worked. As I arrived to my sixth rehab on a cold winter day in Pennsylvania I vowed to do something different. I didn’t necessarily know what I was going to do differently, but I knew a change had to be made. Normally, I would have coasted through the rehab and did as I pleased, but this time I did something different, I took suggestions. I always scoffed at small rules like making your bed, being up on time in the morning, doing a required chore, or helping someone else with their requirements. I would think to myself, “how is this ever going to help my sobriety?” This time I decided it couldn’t hurt to just do what is asked of me, and follow all the suggestions given to me by staff. So I continued to do the little things day to day that were asked of me. In the grand scheme of things I understand where someone like me would find that little rules don’t matter and that they have nothing to do with long term sobriety. But what I have learned through my last stint in rehab is that the little things do matter.

When we are using drugs and alcohol we are doing it very often, for most of us it’s a daily thing. So we have trained our brain to be accustomed to our way of life and everything that comes with the lifestyle we are living. In recovery we must break down those walls and try a new way of life. A way of life which entails taking suggestions and doing things we don’t want to. We have to retrain our brain by practicing certain principles every single day. It may take awhile but eventually this new way of life becomes second nature. So don’t look at small rules as unnecessary, see them as small stepping stones toward changing your way of life.

I went in and out of rehabilitation centers for 3 years and I am now at a point where I have the longest amount of time sober I have ever had since I was 11 years old. For me, it was all about changing my outlook and doing what was asked of me. Sometimes I don’t want to comply with all the rules or do a chore I have been assigned, but it is all about change. The old me would have laughed and continued on to do whatever I wanted to do, and that’s a major reason why I could never stay sober.

Today, I take suggestions; I try to do what’s asked of me to the best of my ability. I try to reach out to other people and help them with anything they may need. It’s all about taking action and changing how your mind thinks and operates. If I can get sober and remain sober for even a small amount of time then that means anyone out there can do it. Just remember, the little things matter. So take suggestions do what is asked of you and follow the program that you are given. Believe me, it makes it much easier to maintain sobriety by taking suggestion, because our way was obviously not working.

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Filed under: Recovery · Tags: addiction treatment center, drug rehab, early recovery, early sobriety, pennsylvania treatment center, recovering alcoholic, recovering drug addict, sobriety, treatment center