In our “real” lives, before our addictions, we probably didn’t really care to or even think about our emotions much, or what was going on in our brain. If we were hurt, we cried or got mad. And then we got over it, and we moved on. Taking the time to sit and really open up our minds and emotions to what was happening around us probably wasn’t even something that would be on our radar to do.
And then, bad things started happening. Maybe you had a scary or traumatizing childhood, or there was an event that caused you great fear or grief and you developed PTSD. For most people in those situations, they don’t want to think about what just happened. They don’t want to re-live those emotions and those memories, and we don’t blame you. But because of these hard things that have happened in your life, you developed your addiction. You didn’t do it thinking, “Fantastic! I’m going to get addicted to [insert drug or addiction choice here] and have it ruin my life, maybe put me in jail, make me lose relationships that matter to me, and probably kill me if I don’t find a way to stop. Additions don’t work that way. They happen because you are scared, and you are hurting, and you want the thoughts and emotions and memories to go away.
But once you enter treatment at Shadow Mountain Recovery, your addiction is no longer available to you. And as those poisonous toxins leave your body, it is understandable that you get scared, or angry, or wanting to leave so that you don’t have to face the emotions and memories. So that you can go back to the numbness. The barely-but-not-really-living. But that was hell, and you know it. It is why you consented to treatment.
There are always going to be times in treatment that you want to leave. We understand that it is hard and frustrating and scary at times. But there is a time and a place to talk and talk and talk and TALK in the therapies provided at Shadow Mountain Recovery. To attain true recovery, and maintain your sobriety, you must, you MUST talk about the hard stuff: the trauma, the anger, the fear, the awful memories that drove you to the oblivion of the addiction in the first place.
While in treatment , you must take the time to unravel your mind. I know this doesn’t sound fun, or even feasible, at times. But remember: you will not always have to open your mind or your soul to everyone you meet - even friends, coworkers, or family. Your memories and the paths you have traveled in your life are yours and yours alone. But please, please know that in order to achieve recovery, you must unravel the pain and the fear and the trauma. You must lay it out there, you must trust that in doing so, this will help you recover. The memories of the hard things in your life will always be with you, but if you talk about them, and work through them, and understand them, then those memories do not any longer need to drive you to the addiction.
Talking about the hard stuff might feel impossible. It is scary, we understand that. But it isn’t impossible. Going back to your addiction will rob you of anything good you want in your life. We cannot make you recover or stay sober. That is completely in your hands. But we hope for you, at Shadow Mountain Recovery, that you will use the tools we give you to stay sober. Life is so breathtakingly beautiful when you see it clear and bright without the cloudy vision seen through an addiction.
You will not always need to unravel you mind and feel that vulnerability. There is a time and a place for that. But if you use the innate courage inside you, and you truly talk about all of it - all of the frightening and ugly memories of your past, then your chances of staying in recovery are sky high.
Engage in treatment. REALLY engage.
And then, when you are ready, and you leave Shadow Mountain Recovery, Engage in your life. REALLY engage.