Most people are apprehensive when it comes to change. It might be fear of the unknown or we don’t want anything to disrupt what we currently have. Instead of embracing it as a chance to grow, we avoid it at all costs. However, one thing’s for sure, we will all experience changes, both negative and positive. It is how we react to those changes that determines or ability to adapt and move forward. For myself, getting clean was a difficult but positive change. At first I wondered how I would cope with life without using drugs. What I have found is that if I am open to change it makes it a lot easier to handle, if I am resistant or try to control the situation, I am usually more uneasy and irritated. Today change is a chance to grow emotionally and spiritually.
Overcoming years of addiction, self-defeating behaviors and thoughts has required an honest and thorough look into myself. Although uncomfortable, this insight has proved valuable. No longer am I plagued or tortured by feelings of overwhelming guilt, shame or insecurities. Quite the opposite. Today I can reflect and process my feelings and emotions in order to evaluate what it is I want and need. This want, this yearning for change, spars development and growth that I knew I was capable of. It has shown me my strengths and my weaknesses and trimmed the unhealthy fat from my true self. Being able to truly want and accept change has been more comforting than I could have imagined.
Change is one of the most difficult thing to accept in my life. I life familiarity, I like things to stay the same. Unfortunately, my life was a wreck and something needed to be done immediately. Coming to rehab and working on myself would get hard because from time to time I would get in my head wishing that I could change this, wishing I could change that. If only I didn’t start using or hanging out with those people, I wouldn’t be here. These would just be my normal fleeting thoughts. Now that I have made a foundation for myself here and have surrounded myself with positivity and sobriety, I think to myself that I’m glad that I did what I did (obviously not the part when I have hurt others) but if I hadn’t of had these experiences, I wouldn’t be here today and I wouldn’t give this up for the world. One word of advice, if you want to stay sober there is only one thing you need to change… Everything.
Fresh starts. Thanks to the calendar, they happen every year – just set your watch to January. Our reward for surviving the holiday season is a new year, bringing on the great tradition of New Year’s resolutions. Put your past behind you and start over. It’s hard to resist the chance of a new beginning, a chance to put the problems of last year to bed. But who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins? It’s not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It’s an event – big or small, something that changes us. Ideally it gives us hope, a new way of living and looking at the world. Letting go of old habits, old memories. But sometimes, when big changes happen our whole world is transformed and we feel hopeless. We realize the ground beneath us has shifted. Things are uncertain and there's no turning back. The world around us is different now. Unrecognizable, and there's nothing we can do about it. We feel stuck. The future's staring us in the face and we’re not sure we like what we see. It's one of those things people say. 'You can't move on until you let go of the past.' Letting go is the easy part, it's the moving on that's painful. So sometimes we fight it, trying to keep things the same. Things can't always stay the same though. At some point you just have to let it go. Move on. Because no matter how painful it is, it's the only way we grow. What’s important is that we never stop believing we can have a new beginning and that positive change is possible.
When we say things like ‘people don’t change’, it drives scientists crazy, because change is literally the only constant in all of science. Energy, matter – it’s always changing, morphing, merging, growing, dying. It’s the way people try not to change that’s unnatural; the way we cling to the way things were instead of letting them be what they are. The way we cling to old memories instead of forming new ones. The way we insist on believing, despite any scientific indication, that anything in this lifetime is permanent. Change is constant. How we experience change, that’s up to us. It can feel like death, or it can feel like a second chance at life. If I open my fingers, loosen my grip, go with it, it can feel like pure adrenaline. Like at any moment, I can have another chance at life. Like at any moment, I can be born all over again. Not just on January 1st or my birthday. On average, every cell in the human body regenerates every seven years. In our own way, we shed our skin like snakes. Biologically, we are brand new people. We may look the same – we probably do, because the change isn't visible – at least not in most of us. But we are all changed. Completely; forever. We don't like it; we fear it, but we can't stop change from coming. We either adapt to change, or we get left behind. It hurts to grow, anybody who tells you it doesn't is lying. But the truth is – sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. And sometimes, change is good. Sometimes, change is everything.