How vision and mission can prevent relapse
I used to wake up, mix up my dope and begin my day. I can remember the feeling of excitement I had when I was grinding up my Oxycontin, or mixing up my heroin first thing in the morning. Being excited to wake up is addicting in its own. Then there were the other days. The days I didn't have my high to wake up to. Those days I would wake up with a little more urgency. I was on a mission. I knew what I had to do. It usually consisted of getting a bus pass, or walking to the local grocery store, Walmart, or Home Depot. There I would acquire objects of value which I could pass on to others at a reasonable cost. I now had a green source of value which would be accepted by the majority for the medicine which would keep me from becoming sick. My mission was one not for money. Money was a part of it, but this was bigger. My mission was necessary, as I believed, for my health and happiness. It left my day feeling fulfilled. Temporally.
Each day I didn't wake up and prepare for the day as I do presently. I didn’t realize how structured many of my “unstructured” days were until I looked back. Every morning I had a routine if I had dope or didn’t. There was a standing operating procedure for getting it. Though it may not have been as clear as mine are now, it was there. If someone asked me for drugs I had a list of people I would call. If I needed money, I knew which stores I would go to, where to go to sell, then where to go to buy. This is the clarity I needed for that time of my life.
Now it seems to me many of us wonder why relapse happens so distantly after recovery. We wonder why things didn't work out the way the should have. What changed? We may have started out working jobs 9-5 for a weekly paycheck before our road through addiction. We may have used to watch football games for fun and enjoy relaxing. What's real, is that throughout time, we changed. We aren't the same person we were before we started using. So why do we think we can go back to that person when our addiction created new habits?
We turn into workaholics. We stay as busy as we can as a distraction. How long can we maintain that distraction? How long until we burn out? Maybe this is why those relapses come out of no where. The excitement of superficial sobriety wears off. We still aren't happy. We still don't have purpose. We still aren't healthy people, mind, body and spirit. When everything slows down eventually we ask ourselves, "Why am I doing all of this?"
I believe that we have gifts of addiction. We are cursed though with a need to live meaningful. Our mission wasn't for money before. It can't be when we are sober. We didn't live with down time for years while chasing our drugs. Why would that habit change? We had specific procedures to give us the feelings and results we needed, and that gave us clarity. Why would this change? I believe if we do not transform these habits constructively, they will eventually re-manifest themselves destructively. Our constructive habits can lead us to lives filled with meaning.
When we open our eyes and see with our vision, we are men and women of mission. We will be for the rest of our lives. We can wake up excited. Our mission will be necessary, for our health and happiness, and will leave us feeling fulfilled. Permanently. Finding our new mission, one that is meaningful, will always give us an answer to the why. "Why am I doing this? If I don't, no one else will, and I can not let my friends of the future down. I don't know who they are, but they need me. And when our time comes, I will be there for them, ready."
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