One of the things I struggle with is dealing with how others speak openly and poorly about addicts and alcoholics especially at my work where I cannot defend myself without either lying or outing myself as a recover. I mostly try to ignore it when the conversation turns to drugs and alcohol but it comes to a point where I need to walk away because it actually starts to offend me. Being new to this area and really new to my current job, I am not comfortable just letting people know my personal health history especially since I already know their true feeling on addicts and alcoholics.
The most recent rants of my coworkers have been surrounding the recent death of Cory Monteith and his many trips to rehab. If you have never been to rehab, it is not a particularly great time. There is a lot of looking at yourself, your defects and facing realities you have been trying to hide. When you are in rehab, you are isolated from many triggers that cause you to want to use and you start to feel hope again. The hope is short lived and replaced by fear once you live those doors and are out in the real world again.
It is hard to stay sober and those who have never fought such a battle do not understand the fight so they put those down who fail. CNN had a really good article explaining why we relapse and how hard it is to be forever sober.
I know that I struggle with daily life every now and again and those thoughts of quickly killing the pain are my brains first solution. One of the things I have worked on is recognizing and acknowledging the thought, reminding myself that using will not solve the problem and then determining other healthy solutions to the problem at hand. It takes some practice to be able to ride the urge wave but helps to be a constant reminder of how bad alcohol and drugs had caused my life to get.
There are great some great techniques out there for fighting urges and cravings so before you are tempted to use, make a plan, find a technique and follow through so you do not end up starting over or worse.
If you are interested in the “riding the wave” technique, read more here.