When we were children, most of us liked to play outside. We would run around for hours on end. We ran because it gave us happiness and excitement. Along the way, our relationships, responsibilities, and other life stuff got in the way. Many times, exercising becomes a happy memory of our childhood and is not something we continue in our adult lives. At Liberty Bay, we want to show you how similar an activity like exercising can be to recovery.
How Addiction Happens
When we first started drinking and using substances, most of us liked it and could moderate our usage. We would sing and laugh and think the party would never end. Along the way physical craving took hold, we compromised our values and we found our life spiraling out of control. Moderately drinking and using drugs became a happy but elusive memory we were trying to chase. Often times and before we know it, addiction takes hold of our life.
Exercise and Addiction Recovery
Exercise and addiction recovery have many parallels. Think about this: When we first get clean at a residential addiction treatment center in Portland, Maine, our eyes open to a refreshing world. Similarly, when we start to exercise or run again, we lace up our shoes and get some good vibes. Both exercise and addiction recovery are both intimidating at first. In recovery, the people are different from you, and perhaps you are not as powerful as the people who have been there for a while. Day by day, you show up and take steps towards recovery. You talk to people about your treatment and start to feel more comfortable. As time passes, you begin to connect with people and see spiritual growth in your recovery.
The same is true when you start exercising. At first, you may feel uncomfortable because perhaps the gym equipment has changed. However, each day you show up and slowly get better. Then, you start to feel more comfortable and relaxed in the gym. As more time passes, you begin to form relationships with people at the gym and start seeing positive results.
How To Overcome Relapse
After you have been in a good groove for a while, either in exercising or in recovery, you may hit a plateau. Perhaps going to the gym is still a daily habit for you, but now instead of doing all the tough work such as improving and pushing yourself further, you begin to gain false safety about being in shape. Instead, you only show up to the gym for show and you are too busy socializing with others to do the work. You may not actually be putting in the work and effort anymore. The same can happen during recovery. Instead of forming relationships with people, you get stuck in the habit of going through the motions. You are no longer talking to newcomers or sponsoring people, and perhaps you even fall back into the negative cycle of addiction.
We have fallen into the trap of settling for the plateau. If we stay here long enough, we will find reasons not to go to the gym or AA meetings and start the steady decline of our muscles and the progress we have made in treatment. There are now two sad scenarios. You could hang at the gym and be a flashy, toned individual that is there just for vanity/image or you could leave the gym. In terms of your addiction journey, this would be the same as leaving your Portland, Maine drug addiction treatment center.
Put In The Work
What happened? How do we avoid the trap? When we put in the work, it is painful, but we see the gains and are able to become happy, joyous, and free. The gains bring us purpose and we accept the pain that comes with it because we value the price we pay in pain for the purpose we receive. We continue to this trend because it gives us peace. We do get to the plateau and we must make a choice: endure the pain or coast.
Spiritual growth is painful. In order to gain more out of your treatment, we must let go of what is comfortable and not stop pushing ahead. It is okay to coast to enjoy and repair your gains for a while but if you do it for too long, comfort becomes normal and the pain of change becomes less attractive.
If you have the ability to make progress in your substance abuse support groups or your individual therapy program in Portland, ME, push ahead. If you have the knowledge, make the change. Further, if you have achieved recovery, flex your muscles and spot the next guy coming up! Contact Liberty Bay at 855.607.8758 to learn more about our services and our outpatient drug and alcohol rehab center so you can stay on top of your recovery for a lifetime.