For a long time, I likened myself to “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski. I was a simple, laid-back guy with a cavalier attitude. A steady intake of marijuana and alcohol bolstered my claim, although I didn't drink White Russians.Then sobriety happened, and I soon discovered I was not “The Dude.” In the absence of a steady stream of pot and booze, I found I was actually a non-dude. Anxiety replaced mellow. Frustration replaced tranquility. I was on edge 24 hours a day in my first few weeks of sobriety.
This is the question I hear most from families looking for an alcohol and drug rehab center for their loved one: How do I know alcohol and drug treatment will work? My answer is always the same. You don’t. There isn’t a facility on Earth that can guarantee your loved one’s recovery from drug addiction and alcoholism. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. Plain and simple.
Here’s the thing about opiates… most people can’t stop taking the drug because of withdrawal symptoms. Imagine this scenario. You come down with a really bad case of the flu, some new wave Asian strain. Writhing in pain with fever and stomach issues, someone tells you it can all end if you take a pill or receive a shot.
PAWS may be a condition with a cute acronym, but its symptoms are really ugly. Let’s set the scene. You’re a month or two into recovery, feeling better and starting to learn how to live sober. Out of nowhere, you start feeling different. Nothing horrible, just a little off, so to speak.
The concept of powerlessness is always a hot button topic amongst those sober (and not sober). I’ve heard heated post meeting debates on this topic. Sometimes it feels like oldtimers and newcomers cannot agree on this idea as it relates to recovery. Just what does ‘powerless’ mean as it pertains to the first step? Am I really helpless in this battle against alcoholism?