In order to heal your life in alcoholism or addiction recovery you need to take several steps towards positive living. These steps are not just the ones that are outlined in the traditional recovery programs of AA or NA.
For example, think about the different areas of your life when it comes to your overall health: Physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. If you work a traditional recovery program then they emphasize worrying about the spiritual health aspect of your recovery, but they do not really look at the other areas.
In order to really heal your life you are going to need to do a more comprehensive job of taking care of yourself. This means looking at your physical health, your relationships, your circle of friends, and so on. It takes more than just working on prayer and meditation each day.
The first suggestion I would make to you is to get yourself into an inpatient treatment program. This is generally the best baseline that you can start out with in early recovery. Second of all I would suggest that you start going to AA or NA meetings every single day, though this is not going to be your only solution in life. I want you to go far beyond the idea that daily meetings as your only recovery solution.
Third, I would suggest that you sit down and do some analysis of what your pain points are in life. In other words, you have certain aspects of your life or your life situation that are causing you pain. In order to truly heal your life you will need to address these pain points and take care of them.
These pain points can come in many different forms. For example, maybe you resent your family member because they used to abuse you, and you typically use that resentment as fuel for your drinking. Now that you are clean and sober that resentment does not just magically go away on its own. You will have to do some work and some processing and perhaps even some therapy in order to get freedom from that particular resentment.
Maybe you still smoke cigarettes. This is a major pain point that affects your life in many different ways: Financially, daily energy levels, etc. Or perhaps you are involved in a bad relationship right now. Again, these are all pain points that are holding you back from true freedom and happiness. You will never be totally healed if you still have major pain points hanging over your head.
Ask yourself: “What is holding me back from true happiness and freedom today?” You can even sit and meditate on that issue for a while. Or you can even just meditate, clear your mind in silence, and see what thoughts keep popping up for you. Whatever you notice is likely to be a pain point for you, something that needs to be addressed in order to gain more freedom.
The chains that hold us back in recovery are often of our own making. We carry resentment, shame, guilt, fear, and all sorts of other negative emotions around with us. And ultimately it is up to us to just let all that stuff go and do the work that is necessary to allow for that to happen. Most people believe that if they just stop drinking or taking drugs that all of the negativity will resolve itself, but this is not always the case. We have to put forth an effort and do some real work in order to do well in recovery.
After you ask for help and go to rehab, you will likely get out of treatment and start attending AA or NA meetings. At that time you will establish a foundation in early recovery and your life will slowly start to get better and better. Now the key here is that you need to keep asking yourself: “What is my biggest pain point right now?” And you also need to continuously ask other people the same question: “What do you see as being my biggest pain point in my life right now?” Their insight will often exceed your own in figuring out what your next right move is.
This is a continuous process. You need to keep doing this over and over again. If and when you stop this process of self introspection then you are in danger of ceasing all personal growth. Falling into a trap of laziness is known as “complacency” in recovery circles. If you get complacent it means that you are no longer pushing yourself to make the kinds of positive changes that keep people clean and sober.
You may be voicing an objection in your mind right now, something along the lines of “When do I get to relax in my recovery? When do I get to stop with all of this personal growth crap and just enjoy my sobriety?” This is another trap. You do not “deserve” to be lazy in recovery. You gave up that luxury when you became addicted to drugs or alcohol. From that point on you were doomed to have to hustle in life. Now you can either hustle in addiction, or you can hustle in recovery, but you have to hustle.
You do not have the option of “not hustling” any more in life. If you choose to be slack and lazy then you will relapse. And then after you relapse you will be forced to hustle to get your drug of choice and keep the hamster wheel of addiction turning over and over again.
Staying clean and sober demands hustle as well. Here is the core of the truth: Life has struggle regardless. Life is a struggle no matter what you choose. So you may as well have the awesome, joyous, exciting life of freedom that can only come from addiction recovery.
You know the outcomes in addition and alcoholism: You become isolated eventually and your drug of choice becomes less and less effective. If you have not experienced this yet, you will eventually if you keep abusing drugs and alcohol. Tolerance will cheat you out of happiness and you will become miserable. Not to mention the fact that choosing the addiction route will always lead to struggle, chaos, misery, and turmoil.
So, choose recovery instead. Choose to do the work that you needs to be done in order to heal your life. Choose to get honest with yourself. Choose to ask for advice from others in sobriety.
Once you start taking advice and listening to people in recovery, your life will slowly start to get better and better. At some point you will have this revelation in your recovery journey, that magical moment when you realize that you are happier in recovery than you ever were in your addiction. And when you reach that magical point it will reinforce the idea that you should keep doing what you are supposed to be doing, keep taking advice and following it, keep doing the work in order to heal your life.
This is the path of success in recovery. It takes hard work. But keep in mind that addiction takes hard work as well. The beauty is, you get to choose. You get to decide which path you will take.