Recovery is more than learning how to live sober in abstinence from drugs and alcohol. We are capable of tremendous change and transformation as men. Since the beginning of time we’ve evolved in strength, intelligence, and ability. Though it can feel as though addiction has robbed us of the very essence of who we are, recovery gives us an entirely new chance at life.
Change in recovery comes at two levels. First, there are the changes taking place without us really trying. Chemically, for example, our body and our mind go through incredible change. people say that our skin looks better, color comes back to our flesh, and pink flushes our lips. We are told we get a glitter back in our eye, a pep in our step, and an overall shift in our demeanor. While it is true we are trying, very hard, to stay sober, we aren’t necessarily taking any direct action to change ourselves chemically. The chemical processing and detoxification of our body happens as an inherent part of our staying sober.
Second, there are the changes taking place because we are putting a lot of effort into making them take place. Recovery asks of us a simple task: to change everything. Every single facet of our lives which was connected to drinking and using has to be changed. We change the way we see ourselves and see our world. We change the way we eat, sleep, meditate, and workout. We change the way we talk, observe our thoughts, manage our emotions, and relate to other people. We change the way we visualize our future, we change the way we relate to the past, and we change the way we take charge of the present moment. Some of this change happens effortlessly and some of this change feels like it takes every ounce of effort we have to give.
Change is what we make of it in recovery. Yes, we will change if we stay sober. How much we change is really up to us. What we make of the changes we make is also up to us. Our recovery gives us what we put into it. If we let ourselves put our all into recovery, we will get everything we could have imagined and so much more.