Updated: Jun 6
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life was deciding that I wanted to live a life free from drugs. It wasn’t a decision I wanted to make, it was a decision I had to make to survive. My physical health was deteriorating rapidly, my mental & emotional well-being was continuously under attack & my “spirituality” was non-existent. It was as if I was being held hostage inside my mind & my “dark side” had completely taken over. Everyone I cared about had told me that I have a problem & I should get help before I inevitably end up dying. I didn’t want to live a life without substances but I did want to regain the trust, love, support & respect of the people closest to me. I wanted to be part of my family again & I wanted my old life back, the way it was before drugs had become a real problem. The only way to achieve this was to ask for help. So I did, but deep down I felt as if there would still be this emptiness inside of me that I will never be able to fill.
While I was in Rehab I learned what long-term recovery is & everything that goes with it. Within several days of not using, my life began improving almost immediately. My appetite came back & I started eating again, I was sleeping better than I ever have before, and my emotions stabilized. Things weren’t bothering me anymore like they were when I was on a month-long bender. My life started improving & the only real change I made was stopping the use of drugs.
Even though my life was improving, I was still having these secret thoughts about one day being able to use with my old buddies & being able to have a celebratory drink once every now & then. The more I had these secret thoughts & expectations, the more I felt the darkness trying to creep back.
My first mistake was keeping my reservations to myself, instead of talking about my reservations with my sponsor, instead of asking other addicts if they have ever had these feelings. I bottled them up & buried them. Mistakingly, I didn’t think that others in the recovery community understood how I was feeling. I thought that if I shared my desires it would come across as if I was weak. I was afraid, I was full of guilt, shame & remorse about what I had done in the past. So I kept my reservations a secret. I have learned that a secret if untold for a long period, will manifest itself into something that will eat you up from the inside.
What is a Reservation & Why does it hold you back?
A reservation means that a person is holding something back. In other words, keeping a secret. It’s a situation where you are either uncomfortable or uncertain about the outcome, so you would rather keep it to yourself.
In my personal experience, Someone with a reservation in recovery is most likely working out a way to return to drug or alcohol abuse in case the recovery doesn’t work out for them. These are dangerous thoughts to have because they are preventing the person from fully recovering. The only real way to move onto a life of recovery is acceptance & surrender.
What Can You Do To Overcome Reservations?
The first step to overcoming your reservations is to accept that you have them. Understanding that you have reservations is completely ok, but you need to work past them as well. You never have to deal with your reservations alone, speak about them whether to your sponsor, your family, or even to a fellow addict that you feel comfortable with.
Understanding that I never had to go through anything alone & knowing that whatever I spoke about would be listened to without judgment was one of the biggest comforts I came to learn.
Once you acknowledge that you have a reservation, it is important to know why you are having it. What is the purpose of that reservation & why can't you let it go? What are you afraid will happen if you let it go?
7 Ways To Battle Your Reservations
Starting to build a new routine is one of the best ways to combat reservations and calm the mind. Here are some ways to start a new routine:
1. Letting Go of Denial
The first step is to recognize the flawed thinking that triggers you truly. Many addicts and alcoholics are in denial about their problems. Once they accept they have a problem, the denial resurfaces again in recovery. This time, the denial is that alcohol or drugs were that bad for us. We may think we had better relationships while intoxicated, performed better, or were more motivated. Recognizing that this thinking is simply, your mind playing tricks on you, will allow you to take more action to change your beliefs for good.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Practising mindfulness is a great way to stop reservations in recovery. Mindfulness can be practised by meditating and focusing on the breath. As you get better at being mindful of simply breathing, you can try being mindful while eating, listening to music, or walking in a park. Slowing down and experiencing the present moment will slow racing thoughts and increase gratitude for living in recovery. Life experiences are so intense and colourful while in a sober state, which can easily be taken for granted.
3. Helping Others
Helping other people in early recovery, volunteering to help the homeless, or volunteering at a local animal shelter can be extremely humbling. It serves as a constant reminder of how things were or how things may end up. When exposed to those less fortunate, it is much easier to be grateful for what we have and what we have accomplished.
4. Recognize Character Defects
Recognizing character defects and trying to change them is not an easy or pleasant task but can be monumental for letting go of reservations in recovery. Since reservations are craving for routine, taking steps to change character defects promotes a new routine. Attempting to change negative behavior, like anger or outbursts, can help the mind rewire itself. When we recognize when we are wrong and try to make amends, it helps change our entire perspective on life.
5. Gratitude Lists (Doing a daily inventory)
Making gratitude lists and daily journaling can be a great way to document your success and growth. As time goes on, you will begin to see the strides you have made in staying clean. This will further promote the idea of recovery and that it is actually working and making your life better. On day one, your list may be short and thoughts may be grim. A month later you may have a completely different outlook. Going back and remembering how you felt on day one can give you a significant boost of confidence.
6. Find Role Models
Finding role models is crucial for recovery to begin and makes letting go of reservations a bit easier. Recovery role models have likely dealt with reservations themselves and can give meaningful and priceless advice. They can help you set up and plan healthy daily routines to replace your old routines. When in a fit of doubt, they can be there to pick up the phone and help you flip your perspective.
7. Sharing Your Story
Whether it be at 12-step meetings, treatment centers, or other recovery support groups, sharing your story with others and how you have changed can be a major perspective changer and confidence booster. When you say out loud how far you have come, it can become much easier to see the fruits of recovery. Others will likely thank you for your service and any advice you can give. You can get a chance to help the next person and really begin to enjoy the new way of life. Reservations in recovery are inevitable and completely normal but they should be dealt with and over time they will slip away. The best thing to do is forgive yourself and then just help the next person looking to get clean. Appreciation of recovery will come with time and effort.
Recovery is not easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. You won't just keep on getting better. There will be many obstacles. There will be good days but there will also be plenty of bad days. Reservations may go away but then come back again. New problems could come up and old reservations could resurface. As long as you don’t see any of these situations as failures but rather as opportunities to learn & grow from, with the help & guidance from your support systems, you will be able to live a life of recovery that you can fully believe in.
How to Overcome Denial and Seek Help for Addiction Recovery in Rehab Centers?
Addiction is a powerful force that can quickly take control of your life, leaving you feeling helpless and alone. The first step in overcoming addiction is admitting that you have a problem. Unfortunately, denial is one of the most common obstacles that people face when it comes to seeking help for addiction recovery. Denial can make it difficult for you to see the truth about your situation or to accept that you need help. In this blog post, we'll explore some strategies that you can use to overcome denial and seek help for addiction recovery in rehab centers. Whether you're struggling with drug addiction, alcoholism, or other forms of addiction, this blog post will provide you with the information and guidance you need to take the first step towards a healthier, happier life.
The Importance of Breaking Through Denial for Successful Addiction Recovery
Addiction is a vicious cycle that can consume an individual's life and lead to destructive behavior. Breaking free from addiction is a challenging and complex journey that requires a person to confront their demons, including denial. Denial is a common defense mechanism that addicts use to avoid facing the reality of their addiction. However, breaking through denial is crucial for successful addiction recovery. It is the first step in recognizing the problem and acknowledging the need for help. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of breaking through denial and how it can be achieved to set the foundation for a successful road to recovery.
How to choose the right rehab center for your needs?
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a rehab center. The first is to make sure that the center specializes in the type of addiction you are struggling with. The second is to make sure that the center is accredited and has a good reputation. The third is to make sure that the center is covered by your insurance. The fourth is to make sure that the center has a good staff-to-patient ratio. The fifth is to make sure that the center is located in a good area. The sixth is to make sure that the center has a good success rate. The seventh is to make sure that the center is affordable. The eighth is to make sure that the center is comfortable. The ninth is to make sure that the center is safe. The tenth is to make sure that the center is private.
The Various Types of Rehab Centers and What They Offer
Rehabilitation centers come in all shapes and sizes. Some specialize in treating certain types of addiction, while others may provide a more comprehensive approach. There are also those that cater to specific demographics, such as women or veterans. No matter what your needs are, there is a rehabilitation center out there that can help you overcome your addiction.
The journey of recovery is ultimately an adventure in discovering the joy and meaning of life beyond the limitations caused by addiction
By accepting the situation and not fighting it as if by magic everything changed