Recovery Bytes

Change, by Ashley N.

As addicts and alcoholics, we do not like change.  What’s funny though, is that we seem to always be making changes to our appearance, asking others around us to change and encouraging change when we see injustices.  Ironic, isn’t it? Anyway, I digress.

Over the past five years I have experienced a great deal of change.  Side note, I am also a bit of a list maker, so here is a bulleted list of a few examples:

  • I changed my homegroup (scary)
  • I changed my sponsor (uncomfortable)
  • I changed my hair stylist (EEK!)
  • I bought a new house (exciting)
  • I bought a new car (expensive)
  • I went from one sponsee to FIVE (overwhelming)
  • I switched departments at work (intimidating)
  • I switched back to my former department at work (relieving)
  • I changed my homegroup, again (comfortable)
  • My dog died (unbearable)
  • I got a new dog (comforting)
  • I got another new dog (insane!)
  • I decided to sell my house (exciting, terrifying and full of uncertainty)

After assessing this list of changes, I realized something. I was the agent of change for all but one of these occurrences. I made a conscious decision to make most of the changes that have happened in my life over the past five years.  Hell, I’m going to go out on a limb and say I have made the decision to change 99% of the things in my life since I found recovery. Every change was accompanied by a feeling or an emotion. My mind was affected and so were my body and spirit. Sometimes I laughed.  Sometimes I cried.  Sometimes I couldn’t identify how I felt. Sometimes I wondered if I had made a change for the better.  Sometimes it was clear that I didn’t.

In the end though, I think change is good.  How boring would our lives be if we stayed the same as we had always been? And isn’t the point of being in recovery to change? Don’t we have to change everything if we want to grow? I know that the version of myself that walked into treatment at 25 years old is not a version of myself that I can recognize today. And all of the changes that I have made over the last 14 years have constructed who I am today. I like who I am today, the skills that I have cultivated and the morals that I possess.  So, I guess I do like change.