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New Year, New Me



Despite that title being a cliche most of you are most likely tired of hearing it during this time of year, It's something that reminds me of my dive into early recovery. The reason I say that is because, three years ago, when I began the process of getting sober and searching out a recovery program, it was this exact time of year. I was flopping back and forth between white-knuckling my sobriety and the weekly relapses I was letting myself fall into back then.


Another thing that added to the struggle, was that my suicidal ideation which came with the depression I was wrestling with, hit me harder than ever before at the same time. I had just subtracted my 16-year-long coping mechanism and my brain really hated me for it. I went through wave after wave of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, crippling nightmares, and cravings more intense than I had ever experienced before. That's not even mentioning that every time I committed to one of those relapses, I damaged any of the already broken trust I had left with my friends and family members.


Now, I bring all of this up because it's currently approaching the new year here and that's when the most damaging AND most liberating part of my life took place during the transfer into 2021. That's when I found the combination of things that was able to free me from the life of suffering I had constructed around myself, using my addiction. With the way I choose to live my life now, it seemed more fitting to me to stop looking back at those times and labeling them "bad" or the "dark ages". But to be able to look back and see lessons and things that I went through that may be able to help someone else out of a similar struggle when I share my story and live my life out loud.


“I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean

What really gave me the new year that I can look back on and put real meaning on the saying "new year, new me" is this, the key to what started my transformation from suffering to a life of gratitude and abundance: I found a recovery program that worked for me. I had tried a few paths and until I found that Mitchell-shaped key, I had limited success. I found a program that came with medication that eased the pressure of cravings for me (Vivitrol), a peer recovery coach I could reach out to when life got stressful (someone who related to my struggle personally), and a therapist to help guide me through the real problem. My fractured mental health that I had been trying to just drown with substance use.


These key things are what worked for me and kicked off an entire journey of transformation I get to enjoy today. I really want to emphasize that this is what did it for ME, and maybe it'll work for you too. But maybe a different path is what your combination is going to look like. We're all different, with different pasts and needs. I want to encourage anyone who's reading to explore as many paths and combinations as you need to if you're struggling with freeing yourself from SUD or any addiction. And if you've managed to get sober and are struggling, change it up, and refresh. I've had to switch gears a few times as I progress, and that's okay. What worked for you 6 months ago may not be what you need to make it 6 more months. Explore your recovery and never be afraid to reach out for ideas or guidance. That's what some of us are here for.


Happy New Year Everyone!!

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Corey Winfield
Corey Winfield
30 de dez. de 2023
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29 de dez. de 2023
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