The waters of life can be treacherous enough to navigate on their own. Then the storms of substance use come. We may feel pummeled by the behaviors from our substance use, thrown to and fro by the consequences of and reactions to our substance use. The storms can wear us down, and the addiction our substance use creates can seem like it will destroy us. However, there is hope. Like a lifeboat in a vast ocean, we can seek treatment, and reach out and right the ship after substance use.
Coming in From the Storm
Many of us, by the time we have reached treatment for substance use, are completely exhausted, mentally, physically, and spiritually. We are broken and lost inside. Maybe we feel like this is our last chance after we have tried everything else on our own.
Treatment for substance use is so much more than a last chance, though. It is the shelter from the storm, the dawn after a cold, dark night. When we make the choice to enter recovery, we are making the commitment to ourselves to change course, to choose healing over pain.
Mending Our Sails
Just like a storm may damage the sails of a ship, we are in need of mending, too. We seek healing from all of the pain we have endured as a result of our substance use, both our own pain and pain we may have caused others.
We also seek healing from a deeper pain, the pain that caused us to turn to substance use in the first place. This is the difference between simply going to treatment for substance use and choosing the path to recovery.
When we truly commit to change our lives, we find the deep-rooted emotional pain inside of us that we tried to numb or escape from with substances, and we mend that pain. This ensures us a healing on a much deeper level, a more holistic and permanent healing.
Reinforcing the Ship
The storms of substance abuse can damage us not only mentally and spiritually, but also physically. Our bodies can be damaged by substance use both in the short and long-term. While there is some damage we cannot reverse, learning to eat nutritiously and to exercise in ways that are healthy for us can certainly reinforce the short-term damage and put us on a healthy course again.
Healing our bodies is also about reconnecting our mind, body, and spirit. We have put our bodies through so much, and in addition to the physical healing, we need to learn how to be whole again. Through activities like mindfulness meditation and yoga, we reinforce not only our physical health but connecting the mental and spiritual aspects of our beings as well.
Learning to Navigate Our Own Lives
As we are regaining strength mentally, physically, and spiritually, we also gain tools to help us navigate our own lives again. Substance use often has steered our choices to this point, and now that we are taking control back, we can learn skills that help us to maintain control and make purposeful choices in our lives again.
Within therapy, we not only learn to heal those parts of us that feel broken, but we also learn powerful tools to help us navigate our lives going forward. Not just valuable tools to withstand cravings and prevent relapse, but also tools like setting boundaries, communicating effectively, self-care, and setting and achieving goals. With these tools, we can navigate our lives again, even when storms are on the horizon.
Plotting Our Course
With powerful tools in hand, we are prepared to plot our course for our recovery path. We have learned how to make choices that will keep us not only sober but thriving in our new life. We can use daily tools like diet, exercise, self-care, and more to keep us steady on our course while using therapeutic skills to help direct us in big and little ways in our recovery.
The best part about recovery is that it opens up a whole new set of opportunities for us. We are no longer limited by our substance use and the control it had on our lives. When we are free of substances and are healing from our pain, our destinations are limitless. We can choose each day not only to stay on the recovery path and heal and grow as a person but also to choose new people and places to share our recovery with.
Stepping out of treatment for addiction may feel anything from scary to empowering. As we set sail after seeking holistic healing, there will always be support for us if we need it. We may test the waters before we gain confidence, but soon we will learn what others saw in us all along: That we are more than capable of navigating our own lives. Not only navigating, but succeeding, being a powerful advocate for ourselves, and perhaps even advocating for others as well. Our destinations are endless when we can right our own ship and learn to navigate through the storms.
Learn to be the master of your own destiny again at AToN Center. AToN is Aid To Navigation, and we specialize in being your compass as you navigate your own recovery. Call us today at (888) 535-1516 to right your own ship again and plot your course for success.