Going to the Recovery Gym

by Joshua Hoe

So often, all I want as an addict is to fix the problem and move on.

But I have long come to accept that you don’t graduate from addiction, you learn to cope with addiction.

To me, my program of recovery…the tools I use…going to meetings, calling my sponsor, calling other program people, going to the gym, meditating….this is how I really cope with my urges.

If I was an MMA fighter and tried to enter the octagon without training I would get killed…and as a recovering addict, if I try to fight my urges without going to the recovery gym, I know what will happen…relapse.

Appreciating the Good Things

I believe that my program of recovery is what allows me to enjoy the good things in life.

Before recovery, I had good, even great, things happen all the time and rarely trusted or enjoyed them.

I never ever appreciated all the little joys and wonders all around me every day…until after recovery.

Part of it is that I convinced myself that I could not trust the world beyond the inside of my brain.

I believed nothing anyone said about me was what they really thought and that nothing I ever won or was awarded would be given if the people knew “the real me”

So, I had urges and no coping mechanism except to escape into addiction and fantasy.

But, there are good things all around us…A cool breeze, someone’s smile, beautiful flowers, a great meal.

In order for me to smell those flowers I need to work out…I need recovery. It is not a chore, it is what makes me capable of seeing the world clearly.

Ending Recovery Resentment

Accepting recovery is part of the surrender process. The same process that allows us to start accepting the world as it is.

Albert Camus suggested that his protagonist in the Stranger was exposed to the benign indifference of the universe in his cell in prison.

For me recovery (and prison) worked in the same way. The universe is not aligned against me or in favor of me…But it is often beautiful.

We have to get out of our own heads and explore and appreciate it..in all its pain and in all of its glory.

But, unfortunately, we easily forget those lessons..and we want so badly to be in control of our own life…to not have to sit in small rooms with bad coffee around “addicts.”

But those small rooms, and bad coffee, are often the best thing that ever happened to us…it is that exercise that allows us the muscle memory to work the tools in the moments of our crisis…When we confront our demons.

In other words, you have to go to the recovery gym in order to continue to enjoy the good things in life!

How do you feel about using your tools? Do you feel resentment? I would love to hear about our struggles with recovery, leave a comment!

As always, we do not identify ourselves with any particular program or organization and we hold no leadership role in any particular program or organization. We are not therapists and do not pretend to be. The purpose of this blog is to share experience, strength, hope across the recovery community.


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