While still being homeless, I have been able to become sober, in control of my life, and off the street. This has provided me time to work with men and women at recovery centers and research the combinations of individual actions for success. By no means does this blog boast of solutions! It is meant for you to create “Action Plans,” which, in any combination, will establish a “Beach Head” so you can move into a new quality of life.
Note: I was at an men’s AA meeting in October of 2016, which requires reading aloud part or all of a story from The Big Book. At the end of a story entitled, “Safe Haven”, the writer made a comment that struck me hard. I now quote it often and use it as a motto for moving forward. I have modified the comment so that AA is not the only solution for humans stricken with the disease of addiction. The comment can be found on page 457 of The Big Book.
“I’ve realized that I cannot go back and make a brand-new start. But I can start from now and make a brand-new end”.
To advise a path for that “brand-new end,” AA, SMART RECOVERY, Yale University Medical School Research, William White, and others have documented their suggestions. I have combined these ideas and my experiences into 11 Action Plans; These actions are to assist you to create a “foundation”, a “Beach Head” in which you can move forward an create a new quality of life. Each plan requires its own breakdown of “who, what, where, and when.” They are:
- 90 days of mandatory or self-committed institutionalization. This allows The brain to reset itself.
- 90 days of classes, meetings, and online recovery websites without any substance use other than doctor prescribed meds.
- Reliable and consistent transportation.
- Engage close friends and family for support. This is over and above a sponsor.
- Remove yourself from the town, city, state, friends, and family that trigger substance use.
- Separate yourself from all those who use inconsistent and/or unsupported path until you are self-assured that sobriety has returned.
- With the support of a physician, experiment with Gabapentin and other medications to block USE receptors.
- Create and implement a “Financial Support Plan”; a budget you can live on. It is best, that in the beginning, that you are not in control of the money until you are self-assured the money is not used for substance use.
- Find housing with substance free family, friends, or housing organizations.
- Work and/or volunteer in substance free organizations and/or turn to a Higher Power for understanding(s).
- Understand life’s “triggers” and learn “reverse trigger” therapy to neutralize the pain and memories that might keep you trapped in past behaviors.
If you combine any of the above actions that work for you, then you have a chance for a better quality of life in the future. When that happens, this blog, “Addiction-Reality-Education” has achieved its goal.
Even better, send in your comments about modifications and additions to these 11 Action Plans which will create thought and discussion.
Smile Every Day,