Change can be, and often is, scary and uncomfortable even if its obviously for the better. Whether we’re taking on a new job, getting married, having children, moving into a new home letting someone new into our lives or anything else, it’s tough, even under the best of circumstances, to embrace change as much as we ought to. Those of us who are in recovery understand all too well how difficult change can be. As harmful as they may have been to our health and quality of life, it can still be jarring to all at once remove ourselves from our old situations and relationships, and declare them relics of our pasts.
One of the surest signs that we or someone we care about may be having a hard time with change is their unwillingness to let go off the past, no matter how toxic it might have been for them: that friend we grew up with that still uses drugs or drinks, that dysfunctional yet passionate romantic relationship, that parent with whom we never full connected, etc. It’s important to realize, however, that these very circumstances may have been what led to our substance abuse in the first place, and that if we’re to make a full recovery, we have to put them in our rearview.
Recovery from drugs and alcohol is a lifelong journey, on which we will repair many old relationships and develop many new ones. We have to be prepared to embrace the future while shedding ourselves of certain toxic elements of our past. Change, however painful it may seem, signifies growth. If we keep this in the back of our minds, we will have a much easier time readying ourselves for the inevitable change that life will throw our way, whether we feel we’re ready for it or not.