How can you possibly put your recovery first before everything? You have to eat. You have to sleep. You have to get a job, make money, and fend for yourself. You have to have fun, live your life, and work through problems. Does recovery come before all of that? The answer is yes and no.
Recovery is your life. Being a man in recovery, living a lifestyle of abstinence from drugs and alcohol, is your life. You’ll hear a sentiment in recovery, “The only thing you have to change is everything.” At first this idea is overwhelming and confusing. Overtime, it starts to make more sense. Addiction is a lifestyle of the past after you come to recovery. Everything you did, every way you acted, has to be reevaluated. Taking an honest look at what contributed to your addiction, in every way, helps you to make new decisions for your recovery. If you act, think, feel, and behave in recovery exactly the same way you did in active addiction, what difference is there but the absence of substances? Men have anecdotally proven time and again that recovery has to come first in their lives. Prioritizing the health of their mind and body, protecting their abstinence, is a requirement of every day living. Everything has to change because everything in life is part of recovery once recovery becomes your life.
Recovery is not a finite entity. Rather, recovery is an infinite journey of growth, development, evolution, and change. Perhaps you are in an accident, knocked unconscious, and taken to the hospital. Without your interjection or any indication of your necessary abstinence from opioids, for example, you are administered morphine. In this case, you don’t have a choice in putting your recovery first by refusing the narcotic substances. However, morphine in your bloodstream does not directly indicate or require a relapse. You can be treated medically. You can heal. You can go off the medication. You can go back to your life in recovery as it was, consistently creating it to be what you want. By not abusing a prescription, not manipulating your way into more drugs, by not reverting to old behaviors, you still put your recovery first. Recovery is a decision making process asking what will benefit me now? and what will benefit me in the future?
Recovery does not so much as come before everything as it comes with everything. Learning to recognize that takes time, as does gaining the skills necessary to prioritizing recovery as a way of life. Treatment programs like the men’s programs at Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, help men make the sustainable changes needed in their lives to find freedom from addiction. Call us today for information: (855) 202-2138