The Pain and Practice of a Changed Life

Christopher WoodwardBy Christopher Woodward, LMAC, Substance Abuse Specialist

September is National Recovery Month. The aim of this month is to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the people who recover.

I always hear the statement “once I stop using, my life will get better.” That is a true statement in that our brain, body and family relationships gain recovery and rest when we stop using our substance of choice. A person can start the long process of rebuilding their hourly and daily lives.

However, the road is more emotionally and physically difficult for the person seeking recovery. For some substances, quite literally, there is more emotional and physical pain attached to recovery than resuming use. This is not great news for those early in recovery, but it is a welcome reminder of where we have come from for those that are a little further down the road. There is an opportunity to mend relationships, earn respect and push out of being marginalized by our substance of choice.

This pain and practice can lead us into the changed life.

Finding a reason to move out of our substance use into change is the first step. Making the change and practicing the change is step two.

The Pain and Practice of a Changed Life I had a mentor tell me once that the best evidence of a changed life is a changed life. It is a simple statement but really difficult to complete. So many of us will change the one thing that we think is holding us back. Whether it is cutting the carbs, stopping that afternoon Diet Coke, or not driving past the liquor store on the way home. These small changes can lead to successes which can lead to more success and momentum of change. Thus, we become better at practicing our change and our process.

We use the support of the people around us and our new skills obtained in treatment to push out of pain into practice of our recovery. We start to move on from the bigger moments of our past and our present. We move on from the trauma, missed expectations, and the wreckage that our substance use has left behind. If we keep up the practice of a changed life, we will one day look up from the work that we have done on ourselves, and our life is changed. We become the evidence of a changed life.

The next step is to serve others and help them along the path to recovery.

Health Partnership offers substance use services, therapy services and psychiatric medication management.

To schedule an appointment or more details, call 913-730-3664.