One analogy that always came to mind in early days of recovery was a sort of extreme scenario I would play out mentally to motivate myself. To help me remember our minds are powerful and my outlook on the whole process was as important as anything else.
So often I had been given the impression or told in no uncertain terms that overcoming addiction was a lifelong battle. That only 10% are successful. That I had a disease. I am not diminishing the severity of living with addiction. It's a nightmare and overcoming it will be one of the most difficult things you will ever accomplish. But it's time to grow the fuck up and realize not only is it not a disease. For many, It's not even an issue once you get a good amount of clean living under your belt. That has been the case for many in my experience. Of course, everyone is different and everyone's journey is equally unique. But I have met countless people who a few years down the road have put everything associated with that time of their life completely behind them.
As usual getting a little sidetracked. I just get excited when writing about the possibility that complete freedom from this hot mess is such a realistic and attainable outcome.
So, back to my third world prison analogy. Through my time living in third world countries and due to my penchant for illicit substances, poor life choices and general stupidity bordering regularly on illegal behavior. A stay in a third world prison was always something that was a remote possibility over those years of my life. As we get to know each other a little better maybe I will get into some of those misadventures.
It occurred to me that if I were plucked from my bar stool at the height of my substance abuse and thrown into a prison in Southern India for example. I suspect the las thing on my mind once I sobered up and shook my hangover etc, would be coping with alcoholism. I like that comparison as it not only played on a very real fear from my past, but it clearly illustrated how a large chunk, if not all of this battle is fought between the ears.
Seriously, think about shitting in a whole on the floor, surrounded by dozens and dozens of prisoners. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest it may not be the most hygienic or friendliest place in the world. Also, having a population in and around 1.3 Billion I assume it will be a popular hangout. Of course, Southern India is famous for some of the hottest temperatures on the planet to add to the overall experience.
So there I would be, sweating, diarrhea, fecal matter in the air, urine drying on my shoeless feet. Cuddled up with Mansour and a bunch of his closest friends. For some reason, I suspect once I detoxed, my past lifestyle choices and issues with substance abuse would not be the primary concern. Perhaps they would completely disappear?
And in what could be construed as warped thinking, this allowed me to believe success was more than possible and gave me motivation in the early stages.
It proves its in our mind after a certain point. Someone who has a broken leg, MS or Schizophrenia and wakes up in that same prison... not much changes the next morning. For whatever reason, that gave me hope.
Over the years I have learned that for myself, after the initial shock of actually being in successful recovery wore off and I was used to my new lot in life. It was all about my outlook on this whole process and keeping myself moving in a positive direction. Did not matter what I was doing that was positive, just as long as I avoided becoming complacent and stagnating.
I must reiterate this is not mentioned in any way to downplay the seriousness of addiction and the absolute commitment and grind necessary to recover. I just wish to point out there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that we have to give ourselves a lot more credit. Anyone who has really had enough can do this, and now.
So there. Hope this finds you well and thanks for having a read.