Change is Key to Recovery

Things have to change in order for anyone to recover.  This sounds like an obvious statement, but it’s so true and really key to any type of recovery.  The littlest habits or even certain people can be enough to trigger old ways.  Just like a smoker trying to quit, little details in life can get in the way of progress.



After my first rehab visit I went back home.  Everything was the same there which was not a good thing.  My boyfriend was still chain-smoking both cigarettes and weed.  My house was a disgusting mess.  While I was away getting treatment, nothing changed back home…

During my last month deep into my Xanax addiction I began hoarding the weirdest things.  I was obsessed with finding deals online and stockpiling ridiculous items, like Ketchup.  Boxes were still showing up once I got back home.  I didn’t remember ordering any of it and it was mind boggling to me.  I was also saving magazines.  Like stacks and stacks of them because I planned to reread them to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  What?  As soon as I walked through the door I wanted to pop a pill… anyone would have!

Other habits of mine were also triggers.  At night I used to take some Xanax, drink Coca-Cola Classic and play online poker.  I would do this after work and pretty much until I was ready for bed.  Had to give that up, because I definitely couldn’t sit through a game of Texas hold ’em without taking a Xanax.  Same with playing Pogo… another online gaming site.  This is where AA or NA meetings come in handy.  Among the obvious benefits from them, they are also a great distraction from old daily routines.

Alcohol was another trigger for me.  Keep in mind back when this was happening I was only in my early twenties.  All of my friends were still going out a lot.  Parties, bars and other outings involving drinking were happening almost every weekend.  Before rehab I would go out drinking and pop a Xanax once I started to get buzzed.  Not sure why I thought this was a good plan, but you could always count on me to get stupid drunk.  My friends thought I was fun, but really I was a damn train wreck.

I remember right after I got out it was my best friend’s birthday.  Everyone was going downtown to a club and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t go.  “You’re problem wasn’t booze, it was pills” they would say.  Doesn’t matter!  You aren’t supposed to put yourself in the position to binge or abuse any substance right out of the gates!  Thankfully, I have amazing friends and they eventually understood (or at least got over it).  For some people, they may need to get new ones.  Sad but true, but real friends will support your recovery in all ways.

Needless to say, I did not change enough during this time, because I eventually turned back to the pills…

If you are trying to recover, be honest with yourself about your triggers.  Make the necessary changes no matter how hard they are.

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