Whether you’re currently in treatment or fresh out of a program, the first month of sobriety can be an overwhelming part of the journey. There are a lot of unknowns that can provoke fear, but the beauty lies in your future. Yes, you put your life on pause to get clean, but now, you have the freedom to choose your path because addiction no longer has the reigns. You’ve learned coping mechanisms, you’re working to settle old traumas and insecurities, and now, you are in control. However, that doesn’t mean once we are clean, the work is done.
Drug addiction is a disease that triggers those fears, insecurities, and traumas, and unfortunately, to beat the disease it means beating the disease down. It means reaffirming your decision to stay clean every day, and sometimes that means reaffirming our clean lifestyle multiple times a day. The goal here is thinking about your future self’s needs, wants, and desires. The person you are now is run by the addiction. The person you could be in the future has the possibility of being anything you choose.
Your Future Self
In the moment, using can feel like the most important thing in the world, and at times, it may feel like using is the only way to survive. It may seem counter-intuitive in a world where everyone is talking about mindfulness and staying present, but when it comes to addiction, sometimes we need to live in the future to ensure we make it through the present moment safely.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay grounded and assess how we feel, it doesn’t mean living in a future fantasy world, and it doesn’t mean we should ignore what’s happening in the present. It means thinking about our negative habits and behaviors and consciously making choices to move beyond them safely them in the present. Sometimes thinking about our future lives can keep us motivated and on track.
Take Jamie, for example. Say Jamie has gone one month without heroin and believes he can use one more time without consequence. Deep down, he knows that’s not true, but addiction will begin to create lies and rationalizations to ensure Jamie picks up the needle. What if Jamie stopped and thought about being two months clean, three months clean, even one year clean? He’s already detoxed; he’s done the first and one of the hardest steps. Why risk it?
This is the real question you have to stop and ask yourself in the moment. Why risk it? What is more important in this moment over your entire future? This is the exact behavior that brought you to treatment in the first place. But this is where the beauty of a new life can flourish. This is where you get to decide your fate. You have the ability, in the moment, you feel like you need to use to say no and manifest a new future for yourself.
The Difference One Choice Can Make
Go back to –
- Jamie uses once: He relapses and ends up right back in treatment.
- Jamie uses once: He continues to get clean and relapses multiple times.
- Jamie uses once: He dies from an overdose because his body was free from the substance.
We can rationalize it any way we want and say it won’t happen to us, but deep down, we know the road to drug addiction is paved with excuses and negative consequences.
When faced with using, think about the other side of the coin.
- Jamie doesn’t use: He stays clean and lives to fight another day.
- Jamie doesn’t use: He uses coping mechanisms and reaches two months clean.
- Jamie doesn’t use: He heads to more group sessions and stays clean for a year.
This is where the Ghost of Christmas Future can deliver us a beautiful gift. It’s the gift of health, happiness, and continued sobriety. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, and it doesn’t mean you will always win over addiction, but looking into the future can remind us that if we put off our vices for just one more day, we have a fighting chance to hit some wonderful milestones in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Reaffirming Sobriety Every Day
Whether you’re in a treatment facility, working through group therapy, or even further along on your recovery journey, staying clean calls for consistent affirmations against using. In times when it feels impossible to stay clean, think about your future self. This is the person that exists a few hours from now, a few days from now, a few years from now. Think about what it would feel like to be your future self, looking back at your past. Think about looking back at your past self with a grateful smile. The choice is always yours, but it’s a choice you don’t have to make alone.
At Summer House Detox Center, we are here to help you get clean and stay clean. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, reach out today to learn about our detox options in Florida and the comforts we offer to help you transition safely back into your mind and body. Beating addiction isn’t easy, but it can be successful with the help of our supportive staff. Call us now (800) 719-1090! You can also visit us at 13550 Memorial Highway Miami, FL 33161. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.