For many, one of the most difficult aspects of recovery is adjusting to new social aspects. The bar, the club, or the hangout spots often provide, in addition to the addictive substance, a social connect. Friendships and relationships can develop when using socially. It may be immensely difficult to stop using, when using was a venue for social acceptance and belonging. Often in the process of rehabilitation and recovery, it is recommended that individuals sever all “using” relationships, avoiding completely any relationship that involved using substances, and staying clear from locations that triggered use. Severing these relationships can be particularly painful for individuals who struggled generally to fit in or make friends.
Honestly is an important step in the journey towards recovery. In many 12 step programs, honesty is often the first step in the course. Although being honest with others is also important, the first person you need to be honest with is yourself.
Let’s be honest, the majority of us do not live in a waterfront villa off the coast of Bora Bora, ski in the Swiss Alps with supermodels, while saving endangered animals in the Amazon on the weekends -- despite what we see on social media platforms. Real life for many is routine. Monday comes around, there is a knot in our stomach, and we think, “It’s back to the grind.” This “grind:” this constant hustle for another dollar, to put food on the table, and clothes on our back is the reality for many. If you’re lucky, the weekend comes around and one can enjoy a little; but, Monday always lurks around the corner of Sunday. How can I find daily happiness? Can every day feel like Friday?
A common acronym amongst addiction counselors is B.L.A.S.T. This stands for Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stressed, and Tired. When someone experiences any number of these feelings, they are particularly vulnerable to succumb to their addiction. Regardless if the addiction is alcohol, drugs, sex, food, or anything else-- B.L.A.S.T. is applicable across the board and can magnify any urge.
People abuse substances for different reasons. It could be self medicating, habit, even boredom. When recovering from addiction, cravings and triggers are the toughest challenges. When the urge is so strong, it may feel like the only option is to give in. Being stronger than the urges could seem almost impossible, especially if we’re feeling down and we know the substance can pick us up. The truth is, it is possible, we just need to pick ourselves up.