YOUR recovery, YOUR journey, YOUR life, YOUR YOUR YOUR!
Why do you keep hearing that word?
You are finally ready to receive help now, (and goodness knows that was a long, hard journey in itself) so why, after all you have been through, are you still being given so much work? You’ve agreed to get treatment…so why are YOU having to work so hard through all of this? Although we (at Top of the World Ranch Treatment Centre) certainly have some of the most comfortable living quarters you could ever find…(I mean, look that that fireplace!)…the truth is, recovery is NOT easy or comfortable and it really does require a good, honest effort and a long term commitment on your part. I have recently learned this while sitting through a Psych-Ed class with our very… passionate…(there really is no word that will suffice when describing this man) addictions counsellor, Pat Mandryk.
“If you do not give recovery a good, honest, effort, then you do not have the right to say that it does not work!”
So what did he mean by a “good, honest effort”? Well, let me unpack that a bit for you using a slightly edited version of Pat’s in-depth lesson. It sounds like a lot of effort on your part right? It is. However, before we groan about homework, Pat pointed out something very valuable. Addiction is a 24/7/365 job. That is, it is all-consuming in every aspect of your life. When you are an addict, you cannot escape your addiction. It lives in you and creates an inescapable turmoil of constant cravings, lies, deceit, increasing isolation, fear and rage. In return for these awful things that continue to torment you, you get to lose…well, almost everything. Relationships, respect, trust, family, self-confidence, self-respect and the list goes on. This is a very, very hard and lonely life to live. There wasn’t a client in that Psych Ed class that disagreed with Pat on this theory.
They all have lost a lot. Too much.
There is good news here. Honestly.
You are not the first or the last person to be living in addiction. There are many other people walking the same or very similar paths as you right now. They have made the decision to try to get better and are just diving into what that might look like for them. Many others have been on this path for a long time. Pat Mandryk is one of those people. Pat is 29 years in recovery. He is a success story and has made it his career to help others have their own success story, or as Pat very plainly puts it “help you save your own life.” It’s that simple. There are, unfortunately, way too many casualties of addiction. Addicts sometimes don’t believe that they are living in addiction. They believe that they are “different.” That they are in control. If you have to question yourself…chances are you are not in control.
A good and honest effort, in the context of your recovery, is consistently leaving no stone unturned. You must make recovery fit your everyday life from the moment you decide you want to get better and every day moving forward. You are worth it, and your life will be vividly better for it. You cannot come to treatment and expect to walk out after your 30, 60 or 90 days and be free from addiction. During treatment you will work on an aftercare plan with a counsellor. You will find out what is within your reach locally and beyond. How to find, join, build and sustain your own recovery community. SUSTAIN…that is important. This is a long term commitment and the road is not short and paved. If you stick to your aftercare plan and you consistently leave no stone unturned, you stand to lead a very inspiring life successfully living in recovery!