“The soul never thinks without a picture” –Aristotle
In our minds eye, no matter what it is that we are setting out to do, we have an idea of how we would like it to go and what the end results will be. From planning our day to jotting down a simple grocery list, or maybe even checking a few things off your bucket list. In a sense we paint a picture of what it all will look like. Or, maybe you’re just not that much a planner. Even the most spontaneous person claims just enough responsibility for themselves to make day to day plans. This is just surface stuff. Waking up, getting dressed, making breakfast, taking care of the kids and off to work or school. There is a deeper drive. A drive that comes from deep down inside, right from your soul. The things that make us tick and make us who we are. What does that look like? Ever taken a time out from the hustle and bustle of daily life to sit and think about it?
Active addiction looks and feels empty and dark. Alone, and misunderstood. Not just misunderstood from others, but mostly from self. The only plan of an addict or alcoholic is finding and getting the next fix, drink or pill. Daily events revolve around the how and where it is going to come from. Even the most functioning addict, who has a job and a family with “normal” responsibilities, plans around their drinking and drugging. Will there be enough pills to get through the weekend? Will there be alcohol at the family, work or social event? Driven solely by the obsession to use. Along with the obsession comes the rippling effect of compulsive behaviors. Lying, manipulation and deceit, just to name a few, become second nature. Little by little over time the using and behaviors seem to begin to chip away at the addict’s birth given nature of being kind, loving, caring and compassionate. A self serving life with the use of drugs and alcohol has taken its place at the very core. Each day looks just like the day before, and the day before that over and over again. Painting a deep dark picture and perceived as their hopeless reality.
Often there comes a moment of clarity, an inner voice, and enough is enough. A desire for something different becomes a cry for help. The first step is the hardest. To admit there is an addiction and that help is needed may possibly be the toughest point an addict comes to before finally getting the help they so deservingly need. The gift of desperation has a way of turning the hopeless into hopefuls. With the help of a sponsor as a guide through the 12 steps and regular fellowship meetings, recovery from addiction is possible. Our thoughts and thinking begin to change. Relationships with friends and family begin to mend. From the inside out the healing begins and outwardly becomes evident as we become healthier, mentally, physically and emotionally with each passing day in recovery. There is a connection felt with ourselves, and the world around us once again that we had lost so long ago. Overwhelming feelings of gratitude and hope become our beacon for a better tomorrow. Plans and goals are made again. And even more beautifully, those goals and reconsidered aspirations are achievable and reached. The heavy weight of shame and guilt once bared on our soul of active addiction is little by slowly lifted. The soul begins to smile again as the beautiful picture of the life you want and deserve is painted.