Someone told me the other day that they needed help in order to stop drinking and to recover from their addiction. I told talked with them for a while and pointed out a few things:
* When I needed help for drinking I went to rehab, and it finally worked. I actually went to 3 rehabs total, and the first 2 times it did not work out for me. I relapsed shortly thereafter on each of those trips. But ultimately they were still worthwhile, and they were both part of my journey, and the third time I went to treatment was when everything clicked for me.
So when I needed help and I asked for it, people directed me to rehab, and this eventually worked for me.
* More treatment worked better for me rather than less treatment. What do I mean by that? I mean that this last time that I went to rehab, they directed me toward long term treatment, where I ended up living for almost 2 years. This was probably the best thing I ever did for my recovery, and the effects of that rehab have led me to over 10 years of sober time now in my recovery.
So, not just treatment, but more treatment. Longer treatment. More intensive treatment.
* I had to actually ask for help. No one could push me to take that critical step towards my recovery. My family and friends were trying to all along, and their pleas fell on deaf ears. Until I was ready to fully surrender, there was no point in their trying to get me to seek help. It was only when I was the one seeking help that things worked out. It was only when I initiated the plea for help that the help was effective.
* I had to follow through. In the past, I had gone to rehab, and when I left, I did not take any of their suggestions on how to live my life sober. I did not go to meetings, I did not quit using other drugs (for example I continued to smoke Marijuana but tried to stop drinking), and I did not go to their recommended long term treatment. When things finally worked out for me and I stayed sober, I was following through with every suggestion that they gave me.
* I had to push myself for personal growth in long term recovery. When I was living in long term rehab, I watched many, many alcoholics relapse. People who had a year sober, two years sober, five years sober, and so on. And of course, hundreds of people who had less than six months sober. So many people relapsing.
I realized then that there was something more to recovery than simply not drinking. I also realized that there was more to it than just paying lip service to the 12 step program and attending daily meetings. Many of the people who relapsed were people who attended a meeting every single day. So I knew there was more to it than that.
* The “secret” for my recovery turned out to be a path of personal growth. I eventually drifted away from daily meeting attendance and started pushing myself to grow as a person on a regular basis. What did that mean exactly and how did it work? Well, I started by quitting smoking. That was a big one and that is what kicked off my goal of improving my health and my life. Thus started my path of personal self improvement. I went on to exercise, start running, and eventually started running marathons.
So if you want to get help to quit drinking then you need to make a commitment to your recovery, for starters. Then you can follow up on your decision by taking action. Anything less than this will result in relapse. If you want to recover from addiction then you have to:
* Decide to change.
* Ask for help.
* Take suggestions.
* Follow through.
* Commit to personal growth.
Most people don’t see that process through all the way to the end, and if they do, they manage to enjoy years and years of recovery.