What is the key to dealing with depressing drug rehab statistics?
You hear all the time how horribly stacked the odds are in addiction recovery:
“Only 1 out of 100 people will stay clean and sober for 10 years.”
“Only 5 out of 100 people will stay clean and sober for 1 year.”
And so on.
You hear these statistics, and then you hear someone quote them again, and you have to sort of start to believe that they might actually be accurate. And you might start thinking to yourself at some point: “How in the world am I actually going to stay clean and sober if the odds are truly that stacked against me?”
There is a solution when that voice in your head starts to nag you like that, but it is not always an easy solution to implement: you have to ignore the statistics, and believe that they do not apply to you.
How can you convince yourself of that truth? Here are some suggestions:
* The poor relapse rates do not apply to you because you are one in a million, and your higher power chose for you to get clean and sober for a reason. (Perhaps to carry the message to others in your own unique way?)
* The depressing rehab stats do not affect you because you are pushing yourself to grow beyond the boundaries of regular recovery. Instead of just showing up to 12 step meetings and saying your piece, you are actually working your recovery to the fullest from the inside out.
* The terrible drug treatment statistics do not apply to you because you are actively taking positive action every day, rather than passively letting life steamroll you in recovery.
There is a huge difference between someone who is active in their recovery and someone who is passive.
Go to any 12 step meeting and take a look around. At least half of the group is living their lives passively. If you fall into this group then you run the risk of relapsing. Notice the “winners” in any 12 step meeting…those who are actually walking the walk, rather than just talking a good game in recovery. Notice that the winners are active in how they live their lives. They are not whining and complaining at meetings. They are not victims. They are taking positive action on a regular basis. Approach these people and ask how long they have been clean and sober. You will probably be amazed at the amount of clean time they possess.
So the solution to dealing with horrible relapse rates is simple: take positive action. Take positive action every single day, in multiple areas of your life. Get fit. Eat healthy. Quit smoking. Help others in recovery. Write about yourself. Journal. Do stepwork. Do all of this and more. Get active. Make a list of goals and then attack it. Decide what you are going to accomplish and then set out and do it.
Most people in recovery are not living this way, and then they complain about the program when they get poor results. The fact is that the program does not save anyone….you can only save yourself. You have to put in the action, put in the effort, and make a huge commitment to yourself if you want the rewards of recovery.
Most people who leave rehab do not follow through. Period. That is why the statistics are so frightening. Most do not do what is suggested. You want to be the exception, you want to be in the 1 percent who make an awesome new life for yourself? Follow through. Take suggestions. And put your guts into it. Nothing less will get you there.