On this day, 243 years ago, the thirteen original colonies came together as one resounding voice and declared independence from Great Britain. Each year at this time, Americans are asked to reflect on the importance of freedom. For most people, the 4th of July is a time to celebrate around the barbecue and watch fireworks with friends and family, but for people in recovery, Independence Day can have more than one meaning.
People in recovery acknowledge their varying lengths of sobriety on the date that they began taking steps to be free from the bondage of self. It is a day of significant importance to millions of people across the country. In a sense, recovery is a declaration of independence from the disease of addiction.
Alcohol and substance use disorders hijack the lives of individuals. Breaking the disease cycle and forging a unique path is one of the greatest acts of courage found in modern times. Through hard work and dedication to abstain from drugs and alcohol (no matter what), men and women can find a new kind of freedom.
With the above thoughts in mind, perhaps you will find time today to think about how grateful you are to have sovereignty. No longer confined by the prison of self, so total that it’s hard for most of society to understand, you can decide the kind of person you’d like to be. People working programs of recovery have the freedom to choose how they will affect those around them and their society.
A Freedom to Decide, in Recovery
Addiction recovery is liberating; it opens doors to new worlds of possibility. Sobriety gives men and women the freedom to decide how they will look at things. They can choose to find the positives in life, even though the addict and alcoholic’s natural default setting is the belief that he or she is the center of the universe. They can decide to squash negative feelings about others and see the good. One remarkable aspect of recovery is the freedom to care about other people.
It is freeing to realize that the gift of recovery is something that you have the honor to be able to pay forward. The humanity shown to newcomers is then passed along; it’s a relay of healing involving men and women with a common goal.
Those who are in the grips of the progressive illness that is addiction are forced to focus only on themselves to survive. Once in recovery, they learn that not only can they care about others but that it is a requirement. Being of service and accountable to something higher enables recovering addicts and alcoholics to find independence. No longer bound by the yoke of addiction, they can spread their wings and soar to new heights of existence.
There is a caveat, of course; detox, treatment, and working a program gives people the ability to manage their condition. Action in perpetuity is required for continued progress; recovery has a start date but no end. Through continued service and a commitment to practice certain principles in every aspect of life, men and women learn what it means to be free.
On Independence Day, please find a moment to consider the many gifts in your life today and show gratitude toward those who helped you be free from the bondage of self. If you attend a meeting, maybe there will be an opportunity to be of service; bring cookies, stack chairs, or introduce yourself to a newcomer.
If you have plans with your peers in recovery for after the meeting, invite said newcomer along. It will make their day, and the invite might be the thing that keeps them from picking up a drink.
Addiction Recovery is a Doorway to Independence
Hemet Valley Recovery Center & Sage Retreat is licensed as a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Hospital (CDRH). We utilize evidence-based practices to help people take their first steps toward a life in recovery. Our clients significantly benefit from hospital-based care and specialty services that we provide at HVRC. Please contact us today to take the first step toward finding independence from addiction.
At HVRC, we hope that everyone in recovery has a safe and sober 4th of July. Please keep your phone charged and never hesitate to call your support network for assistance.