When we’re active in addiction, we tell ourselves a lot of lies to get us through each day. “I can quit if I want to” or “everyone uses drugs or alcohol at some point.” One of my personal favorites that I told myself was that “I’m not capable of being creative or writing good music unless I am high.” Truth was, I could hardly even read my writing when I was high.
After I got sober, I didn’t think I would be facing lies during my recovery. I was often under the assumption that once I was sober, things would get easier. This is not necessarily the case.
There are many myths we must face in recovery, but here are six lies people actually tell themselves that need to be abandoned right now.
1. “People only want to hear about my success.”
For some reason, I always felt extremely uncomfortable sharing anything but success stories with other people. As recovering addicts, we must learn to accept that nothing is going to be perfect and that it’s okay to share about incidents where we have relapsed. Addressing these issues and facing them head-on can only help you become stronger and the people who care about you want to hear about your struggles and failures.
2. “I deserve to have bad things happen to me.”
While this may be the case for some situations (or for those who are strong believers in karma), it is no excuse to allow someone else to treat you poorly or make you feel bad. Regardless of your choices while you were using, everyone deserves to be treated kindly and with respect. Tolerating bad behavior is not a necessity.
3. “If I start missing my past, I’m going to relapse.”
Wrong! The good days from my active addiction weren’t necessarily because I was high. It’s okay to remember some of the good times you’ve had with old friends as long as you’ve accepted that you have moved forward in your life and are going to have much better days sober. Remember--your best days high don’t compare to your worst days sober.
4. “I have to hit rock bottom to get sober.”
This was always my excuse when I was using and trying to deem my life as manageable: “I haven’t hit rock bottom so I can still get high.” Absolute insanity. If you are facing the battle of whether your drug or alcohol use is a problem, you have already realized that it has become a problem. Many people discover early that they have a problem with drugs or alcohol and if you’re willing to address it, don’t hesitate. You don’t have to wait until your life falls apart to get sober.
5. “I need family to fall back on for support.”
Family is extremely helpful when it comes to having a great support system but for those who don’t have any family, think again. All of the fellow recovering addicts that you have met in meetings are now your family. I have met more than a dozen drug addicts who believed getting sober wasn’t an option because they would have nobody to turn to or their family was absent. If you have no support, sit in a meeting or two; you’ll make friends and a future family in no time.
6. “You don’t understand my story. I need drugs and alcohol.”
I had to, unfortunately, be told over and over in meetings about how I was no different than any other addict who walked in through the doors. True, our stories have different details but in the end, they’re all the same. We came, we saw, we lost the battle. Accepting that your case is no different or more unique than anyone else’s can help you remain on the path to recovery.
Whether it’s getting sober or staying sober that’s difficult for you, it’s important not to tell yourself lies that will be detrimental to your recovery. Sobriety is never easy but once you begin to learn acceptance and open your mind to all opportunities, it is possible for everyone.