There's more to recovery than just not using/drinking.
I attempted to get sober several times and I would have bouts of sobriety whether it was forced upon me- for example, going to jail- or being court ordered to go to treatment.
And after a few weeks of not using/drinking I expected everything to just be peachy, but that wasn't the case.
In my disease, I cause a lot of wreckage. I abuse trust, and my loved ones are afraid of me because of my past behavior. Family members were constantly suspicious and had a hard time believing I was sober. And honestly I can't blame them for that. My actions lead them to think that way.
I was about 18 months sober and one of my sisters was still suspicious that I could go that long without drinking/using. My point is that just not drinking/using is only the beginning. Emotional sobriety and having healthy coping skills to deal with life was really when the rubber meets the road. I had to think of this recovery deal as a marathon and not a sprint. It was quite the reality check!
In my mind, I’m like “look guys I’m not getting high anymore.” Although that is a huge deal for a person struggling with addiction, it's only the beginning.
I found a mentor (sponsor) who guided me in my spiritual path towards a healthier lifestyle. I did a lot of soul searching and self realization, and I realized how much of a selfish, self-centered asshole I really was.
Even without dope in my body, my whole perspective on life slowly started to shift. And it was just that, a very slow process. I started practicing daily habits like meditating every morning, and journaling every evening (checking in on my day). I started to help other people who were struggling with addiction, and this was a huge key to my recovery, because I could see my unhealthy lifestyle in someone else and totally call them out on it.
The funny thing is, that once I called them out on stuff, it was an immediate spiritual mirror for me to look at myself and I was almost forced to shift my unhealthy behavior.
Constantly having these mini epiphanies about myself and seeing a different path for how to do life. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you're early in recovery or your loved one is early in recovery, there is still a lot more work to be done.
But it is possible and the process can be a little bumpy, but I know several people who have used this type of approach and had success (including myself.) Emotional sobriety is very real, and so is emotional relapse but I’ll talk about that in another post…