Hey, we are back today with another question sent in by a subscriber. I am always excited to answer my reader’s questions so keep them coming. Your questions help you, me and others that are in need of information to help understand and fight the disease of addiction.
Feel free to send your questions in if you haven’t already by Clicking Here to contact me.
This week’s featured question is:
“How long does it take to psychologically recover from alcohol abuse?”
It depends on the person and his/her circumstances.
Why because not everyone stops using for the same reasons, has the same values or lack of, have the same support network, nor the same motivations to use or not use.
I worked with a woman who was mandated to AA by the court and her probation officer for two years. She attended meetings got a sponsor and sponsored others. She knew the steps and lead meetings. There was no indication that she would use even though many know relapse is part of the process but not a requirement.
One day after she got off of probation she drank and went on a binge. When she made it to the next meeting she shared that she had always told herself secretly that she would use when she got released from probation. As time went on cognitively she forgot her plan and never told anyone. When the day came she was all in. Perhaps if she had shared this secret she would not have relapsed. By the same token, I have met people who had the same circumstance and will tell you to this day that the mandate from court saved their life and they now have double digit sobriety time.
The odds are high that if you stop drinking and don’t build a safe network, build a life for yourself a happily involved life you will be haunted by your abstinence. We call it a dry drunk. Downright miserable. In recovery, it is meant for you to learn to live life on life terms meaning just because you are doing better doesn’t mean life will not touch you. Be sociable, get a hobby, learn to love yourself, and others. Smile and have fun. The obsession and compulsion will eventually go away as you condition your mind and your body to a new way of living.
Spiritual Principle Honesty
Honesty is one of the spiritual principles of recovery. Perhaps if the woman mentioned above told on herself she may not have relapsed. She was well connected, was an active participant in her home group and helped many other women she sponsored. The missing link when you hear her story is that she was not honest about her plan. Her inability to tell on herself fed her lower power if you believe in the concept, “lower power”, “higher power.”
Many times over the years when I think of 12 step fellowships and the recovery process I have thought about this quote.
No man is an Island ~ John Donne
Not to say you can’t heal on your own but it is safer to have a healthy network. As far as how long it will take it will depend on your efforts and the people and tools you utilize in this journey. Please note that some folk will need medical, and/or psychological professional help. There is nothing wrong with this. The bottom line is to maintain abstinence, be honest, take action, and be safe.
Remember there truly is light at the end of the tunnel
Google your local Department of Mental Health
Find and make an appointment with a Physician
Seek guidance from your church and family members
You may also enjoy reading: How to Support Your Loved One Recovering From Addiction
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