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Why I’m Grateful for My Addiction

By Cheryl Steinberg

When I talk to normies about being in recovery, more times than not, their first response is one of sympathy, bordering on pity. They always say things like, “I’m sorry that happened to you,” or “it must be tough,” or even, “life must be a daily struggle for you.”

Huh? *scratches head*

No, none of that is true. Well, maybe the first thing because, I can’t control how people feel. But, the myths and misconceptions behind these thoughts and statements are so far-off base.

Let me make a distinction. My life in active addiction was a struggle; an uphill battle.

My life in recovery is great. Better than my life was even before I picked up a drink or a drug. And I’m not even exaggerating.

Here’s why I’m grateful for my addiction.

First, I am one of those people who think back on all of life’s experiences – good and bad, positive and negative – and think, “These experiences are what molded me into the person I am today.” And I really like the person I am today. That being said, those years I spent in active addiction helped me to become, well, me.

Secondly, going through the things I went through – and there were some pretty messed up situations that I survived – proves to me that I am stronger than I could imagine and that helps me overcome the trials and tribulations of life, in other words, being able to deal with life on life’s terms.

Thirdly – and I kind of referred to this before, already – having gone through what I did, and then getting clean and having a solution in my life has improved my life immensely. I am grateful to at least know why I was so miserable and why I turned to drugs and alcohol as a solution.

In my daily comings and goings, while running errands or driving on the highway, I see so many miserable people who don’t have a substance abuse disorder but who don’t know why they are miserable or even really realize that they are miserable. They just go about their daily lives being angry and making everyone else they come into contact with miserable, too.

Man, I feel sorry for them.

Even though they don’t have a problem with alcohol and other drugs, these are the people who feel like they have to come home and unwind with a drink, just to relieve their stress or to somehow alter how they feel. Now, I’m not one of those recovering addicts who gets jealous that others can “use successfully.” I really don’t care. My question is, though, why would they need to have a drink or joint to “unwind?”

For me, having a solution in my life means working a program of recovery means being honest, accountable, humble, grateful, spiritual, and remaining teachable. These are the principles by which I strive to live on a daily basis. And I don’t need something external, such as a substance, to make me feel better.

Are you struggling with sobriety? Do you have a substance abuse disorder such as addiction and want to put an end to the cycle but don’t know how? Are you afraid of what recovery is? I was just like you. At first, I was in denial, when I realized I did have a problem, I didn’t know what to do and I was afraid to ask for help. I am so glad that I finally got up the courage to seek treatment, though and my life is so much better today. Call us toll-free at 1-800-951-6135 to speak with an Addiction Specialist. We can answer your questions, day or night.

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