It is often said in the rooms of recovery that whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose. While it isn’t necessarily something that most people want to hear, it is one of those indelible truths that has persisted throughout the years.
When many people hear that whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose, they sort of cringe at the thought, or subconsciously they balk at the idea. They interpret it to its extreme, thinking that it means that they will be unable to pursue a career or any of the other goals that they have in their life because these things will inherently interfere with their recovery. They think that not putting things before their recovery means that they will be relegated to a life of sitting in meetings all day and not being able to participate in life, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The saying whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose, simply means that your recovery must come first. It does not mean that you have to only do recovery orientated things with your life or that you can never say no to a recovery obligation, but it just means that you have to have your priorities correct, and that sobriety should be the among the first priorities in your life.
Why Will You Lose Whatever Your Put Before Your Sobriety?
The reason that whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose is fairly simple—it is because as alcoholics and addicts we suffer from an illness that constantly wants to draw us back into its grips. This illness is unlike many others because it manifests itself in our mind and in our spirit and so in order to combat it, we have to be constantly vigilant.
We have to stay in contact with our fellows in recovery, attempt to be as honest as we possibly can be, help others, pray, attend meetings, and try on a daily basis to be the best person we can be. We all often fall short of completing all these things, but there is a difference between falling short and willfully neglecting your responsibilities in recovery.
For people in sobriety, attempting to put your recovery on the back burner as you pursue your career or a relationship is dangerous territory because with an extended period of not being recovery-centered, the chances that a relapse will occur increases exponentially.
Once again, this does not mean that pursuing your dreams and remaining sober are unachievable together, in fact quite the opposite is true, but what it does mean is that regardless of what else is going on in your life, you must make time for your recovery or you will inevitably lose all that you have worked for.
Why Do People Put Things Before Their Sobriety?
There really isn’t a singular answer for why people will put things before their recovery, but there are common themes and common reasons among people who relapse due to their putting things before their sobriety.
Many times people who are just getting sober stay within the first year will go back out because they never really put their sobriety first. They may come in very willing but soon they begin to rebuild their life, maybe get into a relationship, and within a few months, they are non-existent at meetings, which is usually followed by a relapse.
From the outside looking in, this seems to make no sense considering that they were just in rehab, being unable to stop using, but that is just how tricky alcoholism and addiction can be. It can convince those people who just a few months before were on the verge of jail, mental breakdowns, or death, that they have everything under control and they don’t really need to attend as many meetings or work the Steps. The illness will tell them that they need to focus on building a career to make up for the time they lost in active addiction, or that their new found love is more important than calling their sponsor, and when this occurs, it is very difficult to break that frame of mind.
The reality is that whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose, regardless of whether you are newly sober, or you have been sober for quite some time. People with years of sobriety suffer the same fate listed above, and sometimes it can even be more difficult for them to remain recovery-centered, as after 5, 10, or 20 years of being sober, it can sometimes be difficult to remain willing.
People who have been sober for quite some time will often begin to think, ‘I don’t need to attend as many meetings,’ or ‘I don’t need to attend meetings at all.’ They may begin to think on some level that they no longer have a problem or that they no longer need to attend recovery meetings because they are better than that. Sometimes the thought process isn’t even this blunt, but it can be a slow burn where they begin to focus more on their work and family life and in time, they notice that they haven’t done anything for their recovery in months or years. When this occurs, it is easy for them to get stuck in the routine of not being involved in their sobriety, and like the saying goes ‘whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose’ and so they run the risk of losing all.
Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism or Addiction
Getting clean and sober from drugs and alcohol is the most important thing that an addict or alcoholic can do in their life. It is also the most anxiety producing and frightening thing that they can do in their life, but it doesn’t need to be. With help from the professionals at Elevations Health, you can find a new life in sobriety with the least amount of resistance possible. So call us today at 1-866-200-3224 and begin your journey to recovery the right way, with Elevation Health.