Opioid Addiction: From Rock Bottom to Healthy Recovery

When you’re caught up in the turmoil and chaos of opioid addiction, it can be really hard to imagine a life in recovery. Hope almost feels dangerous. How can you possibly live and be happy without this thing which has become so essential? Opioid addiction can feel like a prison of sorts. When you’re addicted to opioids, you have freedom of movement of course. You can go where you like, do what you please. But, there’s always that thing shackled to your leg coming along for the ride. Your entire sense of happiness and wellbeing is reliant on a steady supply of that thing. Opioid addiction is like being held hostage by your own brain.

Opioid Addiction & The Illusion of Freedom

Sure, you have the illusion of freedom. If you’ve ever said things to yourself like  “I can quit anytime, I just don’t want to.” or “Why should I quit? I’m holding down a job, I’m alright.” then you likely know exactly what it’s like to be held hostage by an opioid-addicted mind which manipulates your behavior and lies to you continually. Reassuring you that everything is OK. Just as long as you have that next bag, bundle or handful of pills, you can relax, right? 

Everything is OK…until you can’t get high. When you’re addicted to opioids, you live in constant fear of withdrawal. Sometimes the fear seems far away. You’re not thinking about it at all when you’re nodding out and lazily scratching your neck, that’s for sure. But hit a situation where you’re starting to sober up and you don’t know for sure where your next fix is coming from and panic slowly begins to set in. That anxiety and worry washes over you like someone entered you in the ice bucket challenge without letting you know first. 

No matter what your disease might be whispering in your ear, you know that opioid addiction is no way to live. Most people wouldn’t wish this life on their worst enemy. It doesn’t matter why you first got high or why you continue to do it. Maybe you were on legit pain management and things just got out of hand. Perhaps you’ve never felt comfortable in your own skin, partly due to abuse in your childhood and you discovered the warm embrace of heroin or oxys gave you that comfort you couldn’t seem to find anywhere else. 

Believe in Recovery From Opioid Dependence

People dependent on opioids come from all over and they end up in this predicament for any one of a hundred different reasons. If they are lucky though, they live long enough to reach the realization that there really is a way out of it for them. There is a way to break free from opioid addiction and live a happy, healthy and productive life. We’re not about to tell you it’s easy. It isn’t. It’s hard as hell in fact. But, there is no such thing as a person who can’t get recovery. As long as you are sane enough to tell the true from the false (or at least you were before opioid addiction) then YOU CAN RECOVER. That is a fact. 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried before and were unable to put much time together. Or even if you put years together only to pick up in a moment of doubt. NONE of that means you are incapable of recovering from opioid addiction. It just means you are human. Very few people get recovery for good on their first attempt, so if you have relapsed on opioids before, guess what. You’re in good company. What matters most isn’t where you’ve been. It’s where you are NOW and where you’re headed. That’s all we have control over anyway, isn’t it? We don’t get to rewrite the past. We can, and we should make amends and repair damage, where it’s possible to do so without harming others or violating their trust. But the focus in recovery should be on the present and the near future. That’s why they say “one day a time”. That is part of the miracle that makes recovery possible in the first place.

Addiction is Strong, But Recovery is Stronger

Taken as a whole, recovery seems immense. The idea of getting sober and putting opioids down for LIFE. It’s like looking up at the giant ice wall in Game of Thrones from the bottom and imagining being on the other side. It seems damn near impossible. That is why we don’t do that! You don’t stare up at the top of the ice wall. You walk up to it, get your tools out and you work on moving up that wall inch-by-inch. One handhold and foothold at a time. For the next 24-hours, you don’t worry about the rest of your life. You just do today. 

Sure, those thoughts and worries will intrude. That’s OK. When you notice them, gently, but firmly push them aside. It’s been said that recovery is like a muscle. Meaning that continuous recovery is like exercise and generally it gets easier with time and recovery gets stronger the more you practice it. That’s accurate for the most part. The key is never forgetting that time and distance from our last drug or drink doesn’t make us invincible. In fact, the quality and strength of your recovery are more important than the number of years on that coin or key tag, no matter what anyone tells you. 

Start at the Beginning and Trust the Process

This is why newcomers to recovery are often told to “stay in the middle”, get a sponsor and work the steps, take up service work. The more you do to get your program of recovery and your sober supports integrated into your everyday life, the better your odds of remaining sober are. Recovery is an inside job though. Ultimately your recovery is up to you and you alone. No one else can recover for you and no one can really stop you from picking up if you are bound and determined to. What a program of recovery and the people in the fellowships can do is give you multiple layers of support and protection. They help make sure your mind stays right. Because relapse occurs in the mind long before a drink or a drug ever enters your body. Remember that. It’s important. 

So what does opioid addiction rock bottom to healthy recovery look like? That’s up to the individual. No one person’s recovery looks exactly like someone else’s. But one of the smarter things we can do is to look at people who have what we want and emulate them. See someone who has the kind of recovery you want? Talk to them. Find out what they did and do it. It sounds almost too simple to be true, but it isn’t. Much of recovery really is about learning new behaviors and ways of thinking and just repeating them over and over again until they take root. 

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to opioids now, Better Tomorrow Treatment Center wants to help. We can help, but only if you pick up the phone and establish first contact. From there life is going to start to get a whole lot better. It takes some patience and faith, but no matter how far down the rabbit hole you or your loved one seem to have fallen, recovery from opiate addiction is accessible to you. Make your first move today. Right now. Call us at  (844) 989-1451

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