I'm a substance abuse counselor with 29 years sober/clean and have worked in a small rural outpatient clinic for 28 years.I have two college degrees,two licenses and have gone to numerous seminars over the years.I don't consider myself an expert.Anyone who does has an inflated ego in this area!I'm nothing more than a guide, teacher,mentor,sounding board etc.I've made it this far because i've developed the mental discipline to do what i need to do in my recovery vs.what i'd like to do!Of course i've thought of using in my recovery-most of it within the first two years!I have a healthy fear of the first one of anything-to this day for i know what the end result will be!Many of my clients who relapse are stressed over many of lifes crappy events and also by not knowing how to handle conflicting emotional states!They do not PLAY THE TAPE all the way to the end of what will happen if they use!They are looking for a way to avoid emotional discomfort and think using is the answer!We have to re-train our brains and PICK a better option when we want to use..it really is that simple!I couldnt've have done it minus AA, NA and i also checked out SOS, RR and SMART Recovery.Plus ridding myself of my using friends was KEY!For the past 8 years i've been watching my mom be destroyed by Lewy Body Dementia and now stomach/colon cancer.i know using to avoid the emotional pain of this wouldn't help a damn thing!So I like many others in extended recovery who've encountered many of lifes crappy moments just keep shoving thru it...using the tools we've chosen to use by the many recovery resources out there!Plus the good support system of sober clean friends i have and use!
I went to outpatient recovery for almost 10 months, learning the twelve step program, learning how to change my way of thinking and my beliefs all had to be changed. I had to be taught how to cope with problems without using. I learned how to behave, how to care about people, and be a good spiritual person. They told me to go to AA/ NA meetings, and help other people. My counsellor, an educated person, was my saving grace, being trained, and could help me with problems I wasn't even aware of having. Thanks to the twelve step recovery program and that wonderful counsellor, I have been happily clean and sober for 19 months. Living a good spiritual wonderful loving life.
I also forgot to mention that in 1983 i got very sick n'tired of being sick n'tired...i surrendered to the fact that i could never be a controlled drinker/recreational drug user....and thru the guidance of another wonderful recovering counselor i entered a 25 day inpatient program.And thank u 17 mthsssober275 for all ur contributions here....i so agree!
Ibizzy I love what you wrote, you are an amazing lady!
Thank U my dear cyber friend....and u r an amazing man as well!:)