Why do people use alcohol, drugs or food? I’m sure that psychologists, psychiatrists and substance abuse counsellors have a boatload of answers. When you get down to it, people used because they were just to darned uncomfortable being who they were. Life went along with a lot of pain and suffering. To just get outside of themselves and experience a degree of comfort was the motivation of many. In fact, you will hear people say that in the beginning their drug of choice worked. What we found out out was that over time our miracle cure lost its potency. It no longer had the effect that we desired. In fact it caused even more pain, suffering and self loathing. It was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No real psychic or emotional change took place when we used. At best, it just deadened our feelings down to the core.
Sobriety has the potential to deliver that shift that we were so desperately seeking. There was finally a real possibility of accepting who we were and learning to love ourselves. Life still hit us with a daily barrage of challenges. Now, we were able to say, “bring it on”.
Personal Reflection: How have I changed in sobriety?
Each of us has a different definition of what it means to be fulfilled. For one person it could be working with seniors as a volunteer. For another, it could be training for a marathon. For a third, it could be setting up a greenhouse in their backyard. The choices of what brings fulfillment are endless. One person’s passion would turn out to be boring for another. Finding personal fulfillment in life is part of what makes us human. Finding life purpose however does not mean that you will be given a pass on pain. Growth rarely takes place without some degree of discomfort. So many of us missed opportunities because we wanted to avoid suffering. Thus, the phone call didn’t get made, the question didn’t get asked, the trip didn’t get taken. At the end of the day, we ultimately missed out. Yes, we might have eluded some immediate pain or discomfort. But, in the process we missed out on an opportunity which could have provided an entirely new vista. On a deeper level, perhaps that new vista could have led us to an entirely new pathways of personal fulfillment. We also discovered that often the anticipated pain was largely illusory.
Personal Reflection: Have I sacrificed fulfillment for comfort?