First Step to Recovery: Stop Flying Solo

What compels us to take that proverbial ‘first step to recovery‘?   What compels us to do that which is bad for us?  Why do we repeatedly self-inflict pain when we know our choices are bad and that they are destructive?  We actually DO CARE, yet CANNOT STOP!

We routinely ask ourselves:

  • Why is this happening to me?
  • Am I just hopelessly lost and hell-bent on destroying my life?
  • Am I just an irredeemably miserable person who’s determined to destroy the lives of those around me, particularly those who actually love and care about me?
  • What is really going on with me?
  • Am I broken?
  • How did I get to this point?
  • Can things change?
  • Can life get better?
  • Is there hope for me?

The first step to recovery is to acknowledge that there is something wrong with our thinking.  We must realize that there is something – maybe a lot of things – unmanageable about our lives that, if not dealt with, will eventually serve to destroy us.  So, in order for that first step to recovery to take effect, we have to admit that we were powerless over alcohol, drugs, sex, food or people – take your pick.  Perhaps we have already bottomed out and made that important assessment and decision.

Have You Hit Rock Bottom?

Now, everyone has a different bottom. There are high bottoms and low bottoms and everything in between. The universal unifier here is that YOU have lost control, and ONLY YOU.  Never mind everyone else.  The focus has to be on how we, ourselves lost control.

Let’s use an airplane metaphor.  You’re alone in the cockpit of an airplane flying along effortlessly when all of a sudden you begin to lose control.  The plane starts to spiral downward and you see your life flash before your eyes. You try to regain altitude using everything you know, but you can’t. You keep dropping.  You’re not yet seeing the white light, but you’re pretty sure it’s over.  You know what would be great at this point?  Having someone next to you who knew how to fly (airplanes, that is, airplanes). That is what I found in my first step to recovery.  I found people who know how to fly airplanes!

Many of the people I have met in recovery have crashed and burned multiple times only to rise from the ashes and resurrect their lives to reach what seemed previously unimaginable:  peace, serenity, and success.  It happens and I have seen it.  It’s impossible to do by yourself.  It is common to feel too ashamed to admit there is a problem. The ego won’t allow you to accept that you have an addiction and it is very skilled at minimizing consequences.  So you continue to use and you continue to isolate.  You continue to try and find ways to fix it, but with each failure, you go lower and lower.  And you continue to spiral down…until you approach a bottom so low that the only thing left to do is either surrender or die.

I hope you choose surrender like I did and take that first step to recovery!

Reach out to at 866-983-3651 to speak with a trained addiction counselor.

Written by Barry Diamond, Author/Comedian/Actor

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