Addiction is a Jealous Lover

You won't find a more jealous lover than addiction. Once your addiction sees what it wants, it goes for it. Once it has taken you where it wants you to be, it will lead you down the same path every time.

Don't be fooled during recovery. Your addiction knows where you are, it will come for you, sometimes when you least expect it.

You might be highly intelligent and accomplished, yet addiction has made changes in your brain, which isn't going to simply return to normal after a few days, weeks, months, or even years of abstinence. Don't forget that.

Your brain's chemistry, structures, and communication patterns have been changed through addiction, and the natural balance of your brain has been altered.

Your addiction may have spent years making a home for itself in your brain, and it will take a while for the eviction notice to take effect.

You might be feeling positive in your recovery and, after having a good day, you might find yourself thinking that you deserve a reward, and your addiction will step forward to define the reward.

"I'm doing well, I can afford to take a day off (from my recovery)."

"I'll have just one, maybe two..."

That's your addiction talking, your brain has been wired to accept it, and you want to give in to it.

Conversely, if you're having a bad day in recovery, your addiction may tell you that recovery isn't working for you anyhow, so you may as well use. Or if you've had a bad day at work, you might fall back on the maxim you've heard many times.

"I need a drink."

That's your addiction talking to you, and if you give into your addiction, you will soon find that the only focus in your life is your addiction. Everything worthwhile fades away, and the familiar chaos rules once again.

Months later, you've spent all of your time, energy, and money feeding your addiction, seeking your drug of choice, and covering for yourself. There's no time left to manage your life.

Recognizing that your life is out of control once again, you feel more stressed out, confused as to how you've gotten to this place, depressed, and feeling like a failure.

Your addiction thrives on this, and persuades you that you deserve to act out, or that there's no reason not to.

This is the cycle of addiction. To break it, you will need to find fulfillment in something other than your addiction.

Abstinence alone leaves a vacuum that your addiction wants to fill. At least, that might be the promise that it makes. But it's empty, and it won't fulfill you.

Recovery involves abstinence, yes, but it also requires healthy connections with yourself and others, healthy activities to occupy your time, and the tools to enable you to be happy in sobriety.