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Outside Problems Don’t Disappear after Rehab

At the very beginning of their “re-entry” into the world, most recovering alcoholics and addicts feel a great upsurge of enthusiasm and confidence. This feeling, which can last a month or more, gives way temporarily when optimism and energy fade a little. You gradually discover that many of the problems you had before recovery began are still there.

The only difference is that now you aren’t drinking or taking drugs. That is, however, the most important difference in the world. Life is difficult for everybody, but it’s a lot less difficult for you now that you have a clear mind, a healthier body, and a positive program for your life.

Remember the Purpose of Recovering

You cannot too often remind yourself, especially during the rocky days of early abstinence, that recovery brings with it far more than the ability to refrain from drinking or taking drugs. It brings with it even more than the ability to do this comfortably.

At the beginning, you and your life will seem like uncharted territory.  Despite this,  you may begin to really incorporate the possibility of optimism into your thinking and feeling by concentrating on the example of others, such as the more experienced members of your self-help group, or sometimes just from reading the paper. Overcoming the discomfort of taking life on, substance-free, will lead you to a sense of manageability that you never could have imagined. The purpose of recovering is not just to learn how to go through life’s ups and downs without a drink or drug, but to learn how to be comfortable in discomfort— because it leads to growth, to learn how to become an active member of a society that you once believed you could never feel a part of, etc.

Inspiration is Everywhere

On the sports page of The New York Times of July 20, 1989, is an account of the fall and rise of Lonnie Smith, “the thirty-three-year-old hot-hitting Braves outfielder,” who was a star player with the St. Louis Cardinals when he was twenty-seven—and an ex-player with nowhere to go when he was thirty-one.

“I was an addict the very first time I took drugs, never mind all that stuff about it being a gradual thing,” Smith is quoted in the Times. “I started for the usual reasons; because I was curious, because I thought it was the thing to do, but the big thing was curious, because I thought it was the thing to do, but the big thing was I couldn’t stop.

And then I literally couldn’t get through the day without it.”

Smith finally got himself into rehabilitation, but his ball playing afterward was undistinguished at best, any by 1986 he was without a job.

Finally given a chance in the major leagues, he fought his way back to the top, and in 1989 he was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year.

“For Smith, aside from a tremendous pride in craft and a desire to keep earning a living, the reasons for his remarkable turnaround probably lie more in what he has gone through off the field than on,” wrote Times sports reporter David Falkner.

“He simply knows more about who he is and where he has been.”

Smith said that, even more than playing baseball for another few years, his goal was to establish a secure life on the other side of the nightmare he had lived through.

<h2>Reach Out </h2>

If you or a loved one wants to learn more about our substance abuse programs, please reach out to us today. Our admissions team is available 24/7 at (877)-RECOVERY to answer your questions. Because We Care.

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