Is Detox Really Worth the Effort?
How would your life look if you weren’t repeating the cycle of addiction? Beyond the monetary costs associated with substance abuse, the harm it does to your relationships, and the time that it takes from you which you’ll never get back, are a heavier cost than you may realize.
Are there birthday or anniversary parties that you can’t remember the details of because of how many drinks you had, or that hit you took before it started? Holiday events where you asked to leave because you were behaving inappropriately or embarrassing someone? Does your family brace themselves for you attendance to events and the drama that it may cause? Have you had to ask friends for invites to gatherings, after noticing they aren’t being freely given any longer?
How about your moods and energy level? How do you feel in the mornings when you first wake up? How are your nights going to sleep? Do you feel miserable until you get your drug of choice in your system? Are you more preoccupied with replenishing your stash instead of your fridge? Do you remember your dealer’s name easier than your child’s best friend’s?
It’s easy to lose sight of how you are living your life if you don’t stop and take a moment to reflect. How do you want to live? Who do you want to be? And how do you get there?
The Three Selves
Imagine yourself standing on a timeline. In the middle is your Current Self – you, right here, right now. Look back down the timeline and there you will find your Past Self – all of your past experiences and actions and memories. Look further up the timeline and there is the hazy idea of your Future Self – the person who comes out from all of your current choices and actions.
Your Past Self
Your Current Self is making decisions and choices based on their Past Self’s experiences. A younger you learned from the environment you were in, and the experiences you had, how to behave and navigate the world and relationships around you. Past You has had to live through some very difficult situations, has survived hard times you’d rather not revisit. Somewhere along the line Past You discovered a way to escape from those feelings you didn’t want to feel, those thoughts you didn’t want to think, those memories you didn’t want to resurface. Or Past You had to heal from suffering, and what was meant to heal is now only bringing you harm instead. Or what seemed like a harmless way to spend the time has turned into a pit of quicksand you didn’t realize you were sinking in.
No matter what event lead to where you are now, you have to extend compassion, forgiveness, and love to the past version of you who went through those experiences that brought you to where you are today. Be the positive and uplifting soul your Past Self needed at that time. Offer the Past You compassion, forgive the circumstances that put you in a vulnerable place at the time, and give yourself the love you needed when you were surviving those events.
Your Future Self
This needs to be your best friend. If you aren’t being your best friend, then who is? You can have the widest social network, or the smallest most close-knit one, but at the end of the day you have to put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others (or so they tell you on airplanes). You don’t have to have a clear image of your Future Self to be their best friend, you just need to love them, do them favors, look out for them, and have their best interest in mind in your current decisions and actions.Your Future Self can be whatever you want to be, humans are remarkable with how we can change. If you’re not sure of what Future You looks like, think about things you aren’t fond of in yourself now, such as an addiction or problems regulating your emotions, and identify those as traits you’d like to soften or shift. Once you have a clear image, at least of certain things you want to change, you’ll be in a better place to do favors for your Future Self, and your support network will also know how better to help you get there!
Humans have a remarkable ability to adapt and change. All it takes is effort and time. Dedication can be hard to sustain, but continued effort over time, even with lapses here and there, will lead to change. So take a moment to think about your Future Self and what you’d like them to look like.
Examples of doing your Future Self a favor:
Fighting the temptation to just crack open one (you swear just the one) beer? Remember how future self feels with a hangover, and how proud they will be of another day sober! Do them a favor by make some tea instead.
Do you want to be more active but can’t find the motivation? Think of how Future You will have a new topic of conversation and way to show progress to friends and family as Current You heads out for a run or books a class at the local gym! Group bike rides, local YMCA classes, and community works projects are all great ways to introduce your Future Self to new people too.
Dreading making the call for an appointment or consultation? Imagine you’re helping your best friend set it up, or step into Future-Self’s shoes for a moment to call for Current You.
Pulling it All Together:
Do you look back on Past You and wish you were more even tempered and calm? First, realize the growth you’ve achieved to reflect as such and forgive your Past Self. Then do a favor for Future You and read up on how to understand your emotions and look for local help through things like anger management classes that you can register for now for your Future Self to attend.
The Current You
Hi there Current You!
You many not realize it, or you may not feel like it, but the reality is that you have all the power. This you, the Current You. Only the Current You can make truly reflect on the Past You’s behavior and give your Past Self the love and compassion needed to forgive them. Only Current You can look towards Future You as the best of friends, and extend to them the love to do them favors that Current You isn’t that keen on doing.
“The power to choose to be a best friend towards Future You, and to forgive and share compassion with Past You, lies within Current You.” – Anonymous
The great thing is that Current You is reborn every moment of each day. Consistently giving you the chance to be better for Future You than Past You was able to be.
Be The Change You Need
Change cannot happen unless an individual wants it to. No amount of medication or therapy or support from loved ones can move something that is stuck fast. But once you stop standing in your own way, all of those things will have the power to lift you up!
Be kind to your Future Self by forgiving your Past Self and taking steps as Current You to heal and grow. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it! And there is help along the way.