Milestones in Recovery
I always write about what I know through experience and research. Recently, I started to realize that each time I have some sort of crisis or struggle it becomes easier to deal without drugs.
I used to evaluate success in recovery by amount of time we are abstinent from drugs. I was wrong. When we are faced with any situation that is unusual, positive or negative we immediately think about drugs to avoid the circumstances. I would “party” to escape.
when I published my book I fell into a deep depression and struggled with staying clean. I couldn’t understand why because I had absolutely no reason to be sad. That’s when I started to research the biochemistry of addiction. I concluded that diagnosis of bipolar or major depressive disorder in early recovery is not reliable. The brain needs time to heal and different researchers have different time frames for how long that may be. Across the board though I think its safe to say that it can take up to 18-24 months for the biochemistry of the brain to heal.
Regardless of this I still couldn’t shake the depressive isolation I was suffering from, am suffering from. I did however use my awareness to relieve my struggles with obsessing over a possible relapse. It was then that I understood that no matter how much time I have under my belt I will have to face different situations both positive and negative that will trigger me. Each time I utilize my tools to overcome those moments I reach a milestone in recovery which helps me to overcome the next obstacle in my path. Each test helps to make the next experience a little easier to get through.