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Things Only Change When You Change

The first pillar of success in the book the 12 Pillars of Success is what is called Personal Development. The main idea of this pillar is simple:

The only way things are going to change for you is when you change.

Many people, especially those with loved ones who are using drugs and alcohol, think and hope that when their loved ones change then life will change for them too, that they will be ok. However, anyone who thinks that is in for disappointment. Because in life what happens externally does not dictate how we feel internally. If it does, that’s only temporary. If their loved ones end up changing, that’s a good thing, however, it may not mean that their change is going to be the catalyst for your change.

In order for things to change in life, you have to change. Many people go into therapy with a long list of everything that is wrong with their world – their parents, their employer, the system, the politics, the way society is, and many other grievances. But if they look at their own history, they may recognize that when things changed in your life, that did not necessarily make a profound impact on who they are and how they lived their life. If anything did change, it may have been momentarily.

Invest In Yourself Too

If your loved one has a substance abuse issue, the only thing that changes when they get sober is the problems related to drugs and alcohol, that’s it. All of the other problems such as lack of communication, inability to trust, incapability of dealing with emotions, are all things that will not go away just because someone became sober. If you think when your loved one stops drinking and using drugs that you’re going to be ok, that you’re going to get your spouse or son or daughter back that you had 10 or 15 years ago, you’re in for a rude awakening. Yes, your loved one is going on this journey of getting off of drugs and alcohol and hopefully finding their own path, their own way, but where does that leave you as a family?

As an individual who has been watching this train wreck of addiction for a long time, now it’s time for you to develop yourself, investing in yourself, changing yourself.

There’s Always Room For Improvement

Some people might think they don’t need to change, that everything in their life is fine besides the fact that their loved one has substance abuse issues, but that’s false. Even for those who are self actualized, who have been able to transcend and master their thoughts and emotions, there’s still room for improvement every single day. Life, this journey of life, is fluid, with many blind twists and turns. The only way we can handle them is through personal development. It’s not about the development of your loved one, it’s the development of you.

When someone comes into our program wanting their family member to change, but if their family member chooses not to change, what happens then? The only choice is to be able to change yourself.

“Change is necessary for recovery, however change is difficult for the addict in early recovery.” -James Shand

Change Is Difficult But Necessary

Change is difficult for everybody in early recovery. When a person who is addicted to substances gets clean and sober that changes the entire dynamic of their relationships. For the family members, their life is going to be different.

For example, for a mom or a spouse or a dad who is constantly fixing and rescuing, always putting out the fires, when their loved one is no longer using substances and there’s no fires to put out, they don’t know what to do with themselves. They created an identity of “I’m the fixer, I’m the rescuer,” and all of a sudden they no longer have that purpose in their life.

A lot of times in early recovery, someone gets sober, but their partner or their spouse is still living the way they used to live. Now their relationship is incongruent. Sometimes people don’t even like the new versions of themselves in a relationship. Unfortunately, there are many spouses and partners who say things such as, “I like you more when you’re drinking, I like you more when you were doing what you used to do – now, you’re so different.” That shows more about the person, and their own inability to change and adapt to changes.

“The only thing consistent in life is change. And that change depends on how you as an individual determine the outcome of how that change affects your life.” -Tony Dipp

Change is the only constant in life, the only thing that is guaranteed is that life is always going to change. And personal development is the only way that we can handle those changes.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

GET HELP NOW:  949.258.7580


Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.