This is a blog post in a series we’re doing: “from the inside”. It gives a perspective from the people inside our clinic working with you on your recovery. 

Hello, I am a Primary Certified Substance Abuse Counselor with Kemet and I want to offer you some perspective.  

Recovery is not about stopping using.  It is not that easy.  You need to create a life that does not include using.  How do you now deal with life without drugs?  You don't have to change everything, but from my perspective the most important thing you have to do is part yourself with 'friends' who are using, some of the factors that brought you to your addiction and could very well reunite you.  If you relapse do you think they will be there for you?  Give a shit about you?  This is the time in your life where you deserve to be selfish, put yourself first.  

How do you avoid such situations? Be aware of them and don't put yourself at risk.  It is okay to say no to an invite where you feel vulnerable to drugs or alcohol.  Learn to relax.  Don't put additional stress on yourself for having to say no to someone.  It is okay.  They will understand and if they don't they don't need to be in your inner recovery circle anyway.  

Two important coping skills for recovery are the ability to relax and manage stress, and the ability to change negative thinking.  In this respect, cognitive behavioral therapy is important because negative thinking is a major cause of anxiety and depression which often underlie addiction. The thinking behind CBT is that if you can change your thinking, you will improve your life.  

Lastly, be honest with yourself and those around you. Addiction requires lying.   By the time you've developed an addiction, lying comes easily to you. After a while you get so good at lying that you end up lying to yourself. That's why addicts don't know who they are or what they believe in. 

 If you use this opportunity for change, you'll look back and think of your addiction as one of the best things that ever happened to you. People in recovery often describe themselves as grateful addicts. Why would someone be grateful to have an addiction? Because their addiction helped them find an inner peace and tranquility that most people crave. Recovery can help you change your life.