One of the biggest challenges a person who struggles with addiction will ever experience in early recovery is learning how to live life on life's terms clean and sober. I've shared in previous blogs about what it's like trying to move on after living the street life and overcoming trauma. Chronic fear and heartache used to plague my mind and soul, and it's what kept me out there for so long. Anxiety and depression is usually caused by unprocessed trauma. I've mentioned before the nervous system gets stuck when we don't process our pain and grief. What people need to realize, especially those recovering, is that addictions were but a symptom of what's really taking place on the inside.
When I first began my journey of recovery, it was hard just living your normal everyday life. I had to learn how to fall into normal day to day activities like holding a steady job, a steady home, being a stable mother, grocery shopping, paying bills, etc. What seemed easy for others was a challenge for a trauma survivor. I had to learn how to navigate through life and cope with my God-given emotions.
The beginning stages of healing from a traumatic childhood and drug addictions seemed unbearable. I didn't think the pain would ever end. I didn't think the uninvited memories or deregulated emotions would ever go away. And I didn't think I'd have the life I have today. When you're used to living life just trying to survive, learning how to filter out what used to send you into the fight or flight was extremely painful. But I was determined to learn after I found hope in my hopeless circumstances...especially for the sake of my innocent boys who deserved more. I didn't want them to repeat the same cycle I was stuck in that took me so long to come out of. I fought hard to recover so they could have a better life. I faced and continue to face painful past experiences so that I can be restored to sanity.
Over the years I've learned how to cope in a healthy way. Memories still surface from time to time, but I'm no longer tormented by the thoughts and emotions linked to those painful events. Like an onion, healing takes place one layer at a time. Since the beginning stage of recovery, life has gotten easier and my faith has been made strong through the events I've gone through unmedicated.
It is possible for the hopeless person stuck in addictions to recover and live a normal healthy life. We have to deal with the underlying heart issues that have kept us in bondage. This takes time and isn't an overnight fix. It's a journey, not a destination. There is hope from the street life and it's up to us to fight harder for recovery than giving into instant gratification.
Are you feeling trapped by addiction? Contact us at Shenandoah Valley Adult & Teen Challenge to learn how you can begin your journey to Hope and Freedom!