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Starting Over After Losing Everything to Drug Addiction

Posted in Addiction News

Starting Over After Losing Everything to Drug AddictionSome people call it “hitting bottom.” It means that the pain has gotten bad enough that we know it’s time to start over. To those of us who have crashed and burned because of our addiction, it usually takes hitting bottom for us to have the willingness to really change. Alcohol, drugs or a combination of both have taken everything from us. If we had never picked up a drink or a drug, we may not have experienced some of the terrible things that we have had to go through.

Those of us who have admitted we have a problem with alcohol or drugs have experienced many losses. Some of us have lost one or more jobs or have even become unemployable. Some of us have destroyed marriages, friendships or other relationships. Some of us have given ourselves major health problems from years of abusing our bodies. Some of us have committed crimes and spent time in prison. Some of us have not faced all the wrongs we have done up to now and are living with the guilt and shame of things we did in the past.

We all have one thing in common. We have all reached a point in which we have to start over after losing everything or just about everything. At that point, we feel pretty hopeless. We have to somehow let go of the painful past and begin a new life.

The Pain and Grief of Loss

When we get sober, we start to feel our feelings, often with an intensity we never expected. We may become painfully aware of the things we did that we are not proud of, especially the people we hurt. When we were abusing drugs and alcohol, many of us stole money or property from people we loved. Some of us were violent. We may have committed crimes or caused accidents. We may have hurt innocent people.

Most if not all of us experience deep feelings of shame and guilt. We grieve for the things and people we lost. We are ashamed of our actions. Often we find reality to be a painful place.

We can’t undo the things we have done and we can’t keep going down the path of self-destruction. We have truly hit bottom. We have to start over.

Importance of Self-Forgiveness

For many of us, being able to recover has everything to do with being able to forgive ourselves for our actions while under the influence of mind-altering substances. Self-forgiveness doesn’t always come easily. We may have done some pretty horrible things.

If we don’t forgive ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, we probably won’t be able to move forward and begin to create a new life. We can’t undo the wrongs we have done. We can only strive to do better from now on. We are not bad people trying to get good. We are sick people trying to get well. The best thing we can do for the people we have harmed is to learn to live a sober life.

Starting Recovery With a Single Step

It may feel like we have fallen so far down that getting up is hopeless. Facing the past and taking the steps we need to take to start over may feel very overwhelming.

But when we truly hit bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. The first step toward recovery is admitting and accepting that our addiction has been ruining our lives and maybe the lives of those around us. Now that we have decided to get sober, we are on the right path to turning our lives around.

We desperately want to change. We want to let go of our flaws and take steps toward a better future. We are not alone on our journey. We are not hopeless. Our lives will get better because we are getting better.

Recovery won’t happen overnight. It won’t even happen in a day or two. It will take time, commitment and determination. Gradually we will start to see progress, but not perfection. We will find that our worst day sober is better than our best day drunk. It’s great to have the chance to start over.