Deep down inside, every addict has the desire to quit drugs and alcohol. However, another part doesn’t want to put in the work and is afraid of the concept of recovery. In order for sobriety to finally “click,” the desire for recovery needs to be stronger than the urge to use or drink. In other words, we need to be ready to quit.
Without a strong desire for recovery, it can be really hard for an addict to make it work. For some of us, it can take one, two, three times or more in rehab for it to really stick. In many cases, it can take years before someone finally has enough. No one way is better than the other—we all do it on our own time.
It finally clicked for me the fourth time I went to rehab. The previous few times I had been prompted by friends, family, even myself. But I wasn’t ready to quit; I went back to the same places and same people I had been around before rehab. This last time, though, I felt an unwavering urge in myself that this was it. I literally couldn’t live the lifestyle I was living anymore without fear for my life and health. Substance abuse was a burden and a full-time job, forcing me to always worry about what the day would hold and where I would get my next fix—and I wanted nothing to do with it anymore.
I was tired of living a life that I knew wasn’t in alignment with my real self. I had a strong will to be a better person and to make something of myself, but substance abuse was taking over my life. I knew the person under the influence of addiction wasn’t me, but I didn’t know how to get out of it. I felt that I had finally had it, and I wanted to be free of this burden.
Nothing was actually different about the circumstances going into rehab. I still felt physically ill, disheveled and tired, but I had more hope. I spent a lot of time in the quiet room that was provided to me, praying and meditating and trying to drive the mantra home in my mind on one simple thing, to have the urge for the drug taken away from me. Somehow, putting that phrase out there and into my mind helped me understand that this was a psychological, physical urge that I was feeling.
It lay in me; the urge to do drugs, the desire, and craving. However, what I realized then was that there was something else that lay in me as well—the ability to quit. If my mind was the one telling me I needed drugs, then it was also capable of telling me that I didn’t need them. I could stop anytime I wanted and I was ready. My mind held all the power of persuasion, for both good and for bad.
It was this thought that I took with me when I finally left. Thanks to rehab, I was rid of the physical part of the addiction and able to return home free of withdrawal symptoms. All that was left then was my mind and my psychological addiction. Each day I made a conscious decision to not use and as each day passed, I grew stronger and stronger. I felt myself distancing myself farther and farther away from the drug that I knew so well before. I was no longer that person anymore.
In life, a person needs to be ready to take the steps they need in order to achieve something they desire. And it’s just the same for an addict. Recovery needs to align with our readiness. We need to be ready to quit so that we can have the best mindset in place to help us along our journey. When we use our minds to make the conscious choice to be in alignment with our authentic self, we can do anything—including beating our addiction.