Recovery is more than abstinence from drugs and alcohol. It is about looking at the world with a new attitude and claiming responsibility for our lives. Addicts tend to see the world as an adversarial environment that they must conquer daily just to survive. Recovery demands that you change these attitudes.
"Survival" is not necessary when addicts can begin to believe that life is good. The viewfinder of their life must be pointed in a different direction to help them see more optimistically.
Negativity Will Drag You Down
Many addicts see life as hard and give up any notion of ever overcoming the incredible odds stacked against them. They also see that circumstances and relationships with others have become damaged to such a degree that there is no way to right the vast wrongs that have been committed. When faced with the tremendous amount of wreckage they see in their lives, they feel overwhelmed and inadequate to face the tasks ahead.
This is when the sponsor or counselor can come to the rescue with the adage begun in Alcoholics Anonymous of "one day at a time." This phrase instructs the addict in recovery to do what is possible in a 24-hour period to begin the process of cleaning up the wreckage in their lives. It is a daunting task, but can be done, one bit at a time, one (12) Step at a time.
Different Choices = Different Life
As they begin the process of cleaning up their past and working through the steps, addicts will find that they begin to see the world around them differently. What once felt like a hostile environment, set out to ruin their dreams, begins to feel like a world full of hope and possibility. They begin to take responsibility for their actions and behaviors, both while under the influence of their addiction, and while in the recovery process. They finally see that they can make different choices.
The first choice that changes is the way they view the universe around them. Instead of being victimized by the life they had been living, they can enjoy their life by having a say in what happens next. While life will sometimes, or even often, throw an unexpected curveball, new tools and insights are given to each addict to help them see the beauty that is possible. They can begin to build a wonderful life from the ashes of their previous wreckage.