When you make a decision to get better, it is only later and in retrospect that you realize you made a commitment. Making up your mind to get better is a very personal and overhauling decision. A decision whose journey only you can ever truly appreciate. It works best when there is no struggle. For example you cannot want to not have insomnia in the long run and still drink two beers as lala salama or pop some piriton pills. Granted it will hurt the first week or so yet l promise you that your mind and body will stand up for you, if you stick with it. In this same instance there are things you do to mitigate the cold turkey effects such as working out. Yes, I am talking about working out even if it is in the middle of the night.
That is the second thing about recovery. The activities you engage in to reset will always go against the usual time versus activity timetable we all agree are normal and conform to. You should not sweat it though. This is because we both know how you feel to make you take the recovery journey is not within what is deemed normal (the nightmares, the outbursts of anger, the manic courage, the unsettling feeling at the pit of your stomach that you are out of control, the hyper irritation. The list goes on). You worry that someone may notice you are out of our usual daily program and judge you. In line with that permit me to offer you an everyday ‘normal’ example: wake up, get into traffic on your way to work, park the car in the same spot all day, get back into traffic on the way home. Do this for 365days out of an year. Well that is deducting leave days, (if you do not get recalled) national and religious holidays (if you are not on duty or a believer) sick off days, (if your boss thinks you qualify) death in the family off days (it must be someone terribly immediate or else forget it). Other examples are like binge drinking from Friday night to Sunday evening. I trust you get the picture. Subsequently, in recovery, image concerns take a back seat because in your heart of hearts you acknowledge that seemingly routine and normalized unhealthy patterns are hurting you in places so deep and personal that the outside world is totally blind to. So go ahead, give up alcohol, weed, khat and cigarettes. Could it be a case of minus (insomnia) plus minus(working out in the middle of the night) is equals to plus (resetting of circadian rhythms) – + – = +?
Which brings me to my third point about recovery. Not everyone will support your journey of recovery. It is hugely tempting to project normalcy on the outside world for the purpose of being accepted yet inside you are muffling your own deathly cries. So difficult is it to the extent of causing separation anxiety. I offer you this as a an approach to settling this ambiguity. The answer to the following question may shine a light on your path of recovery. “ Does my current company support/add value to my desire to recover/ grow/evolve?” Keep in mind that people fear change because of many known and subconscious reasons. You have to leave behind your old non-supportive peoples and lean in to a supportive squad that will cheer you on in your process of recovery.
Recovery may take a lifetime. It may take two years, maybe five or ten and probably twenty to thirty years. Give yourself permission to organically go through the motions. There may be periods where your own insecurities may lead you falsely believe that you do not deserve anything good or better. You most likely are going to and have reverted to a cycle that results to you feeling simply horrible yet surprisingly ‘normal.’ Be gentle and compassionate with yourself during such times because they do not last and the desire to get back to recovery once again becomes compelling.
Recovery is not part time. It is not an activity you make time for just in case you have a minute between the time you are stuck in traffic and reaching the destination of your next appointment. Recovery is not the moment you take to regret your violent and chaotic behavior the night before just before you drown yourself in a liter of Kenya Cane. Recovery is not the confession you make to the priest about how sorry you are for the enemy lives you took then go get into a fight just so you can channel your moral injury and aggression.
In recovery, what you choose to do weighs heavier than what you do not do.
Recovery is in what you choose to eat,
Recovery is in what you choose to listen to and watch
Recovery is in whom you choose to associate with
Recovery is in the choice you make about what you say
Recovery is in the choice you make on how to calm down
Recovery is in the choice of what you do with your body
Recovery is in the choice of how you make your money
Recovery is in how you choose to respond to irritations and annoying people
Recovery is in the choice you make on when to sleep and wake up
Recovery is choosing you over a life of pain and suffering
Choosing recovery is an act of courage and faith. Everything changes once you embark on the journey to recovery. Making the decision to begin to work towards an personal objective which at the present time may seem like someone else’s life comes with a having a sense of hope.
Recovery is a lifestyle. You have to change your mind to improve your mental health.