Many who have struggled with substance abuse also identify as having strong personalities, unable to moderate very well in numerous areas of their life.
One of the key challenges to achieving sobriety is finding balance in recovery, letting go of the drama and chaos that a life drinking and using supplied. Individuals who have serenity in their sober life generally learn extremes of any nature are not helpful.
Moderation, Balance and Harmony
The idea of harmony is as old as Aristotle’s Ethics and Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, where virtue is described as the temperance of two opposites. Successes will be conditioned by failures, courage achieved by experiencing fear and facing it. Potentially the greatest risk to our natural ability to moderate is when we are too focused on what we believe we should do; having failed this standard the alcoholic or addict will resort to using drugs and alcohol to temper feelings of self-pity, shame or remorse.
It can be characteristic of alcoholics and addicts in early recovery to have a very polarized view of their life, mainly due to the ups and downs which take place as the body and mind adjust to life without drugs and alcohol. They are caught up in the past or planning the future, possibly devastated by what they perceive to be the loss of their social life while at the same time energized by finally being clean and sober. Individuals walking through life tightly wound up in the struggle to meet predetermined standards are rarely tuned into the pleasures of living in the moment.
Learning to Let Go and Just Be
Part of the process of recovery is learning to be gentle with yourself; letting go of the idea that things are a personal reflection or a value judgment about who you are. Be it fear of failure, criticism, mistakes, or something as simple as not knowing what the next indicated step is, having flexibility and acceptance, embracing failures with successes promotes a healthy awareness of what really is important, how we determine our value and value systems.
Practicing balance in recovery means allowing our self- worth to generate from within. Accepting we are not perfect and life will not always resemble what we think it should, we can then make healthier choices about what we really want.
A life based on recovery permits individuals to find a better path than the one spent addicted to substances, discovering enduring satisfactions and serenity from chaos.