This topic of When Does the Work Begin in Recovery is what tempts me to bang my head against a wall… just in case you hear any noise coming from my house.
The work in recovery begins as soon as the alcohol or other drugs have been removed from the body. Simple, not complicated at all. The body must be free from all that. Until that occurs, I simply encourage and help to plan for detoxification.
A simple example might be, as dumb as it sounds, that you somehow swallow a nail. You can have fun figuring how you did that, but lets go with this…
The medical profession, with all its knowledge and resources, cannot begin to rehabilitate you until the nail is removed. As long as that pesky nail is inside you, the paramount problem exists within you, and it is impossible to move ahead until the body is free from that little dagger.
Well, the exact same scenario occurs with drugs and alcohol. This silly analogy is a direct parallel.
And why would this topic rattle me?
Because the resistance to this concept prevents me from working with so many alcoholics and drug addicts. My stance on the need for complete detox is firm. There is no wiggle room.
As a Sober Recovery Coach, a part of my job is to help my clients develop a plan for recovery, regardless of the stage they are in. Many clients tell me that they wish to self-detox, usually by a “taper method”. I am initially good with that plan. Heck, I am thrilled with any reasonable plan a client has, and I jump on board right away. If a client wishes to taper, I am right there. I have worked with quite a few reduction plans and the results have been as good as any other method of detox, although it generally does take more time to achieve. But that is not usually a problem, as long as it doesn’t create more problems that self-detox solves… for example, a threatened job loss or losing a family.
The initial conversation usually includes the sentence, “I don’t want to go to detox because I can quit on my own with your help.” This can be a totally true statement. I have the history with clients to prove that it can be true. No argument from me at this point.
So, I go to work with my client on that plan, tailoring it to fit the needs and conditions. I often refer to the medical profession, as well as any other professionals needed. My posture on CPC (Cooperation with the Professional Community) was drilled into me from day one of my counselling career. I don’t presume to know it all, do it all, or hold the proper credentials, and I don’t play the game of that be-all-and-end-all jerk. Anyway, I focus on the plan.
All too often, however, my client will stray from the plan. Keep in mind, we are not talking about reducing the amount of ice cream… we are working with an addiction. The complete and total control of addiction is a force that is very hard to control… impossible for so many. Try cutting back on your favorite dessert and you will get a small taste of which I speak… no pun intended.
When I see the straying begin, I want to know more. I now am interested in the final date of this plan. I am a loving, but tough coach, and I am now concerned.
Very often, my clients become instantly lost in the wind. They know that my question includes a “Plan B”, and they don’t want to go there.
See, I can get a body clean in about five to fifteen days, depending on several factors. BAM! All done. Then I can get to work on the fun stuff… a life after alcohol and drugs. That part is amazing!
Even if an in-patient rehab is best following detox, there is still plenty of work to do after that is over.
Walking with a client, either in-person or remotely, is such an incredible experience for us both, as my clients transform into such functional members of society. I love to watch them surprise themselves!
If I can only help all my clients get past that little sticky point of detox.
Maybe that is what this post is about.
Over the course of a life in sobriety, the detox portion is fractional… minute. But it is a stumbling block to that freedom that all addicts dream about at some point.
Family, friends, employers can all play a part along with me to help that suffering alcoholic or drug addict… we all know at least one, although we may not be aware of it. Talk about it with anyone! Talk, share, have discussions.
Lets let the work in recovery begin quickly!
About the Author:
Dave Innis, CRC, is an independent certified recovery sober coach and companion. He works with recovering alcoholics and addicts globally, either in person, via Skype sessions, phone or email. Dave Innis began as a counselor in late 1994 and has worked in the field both in the southwest and eastern US. Dave operates in the US as well as globally, and lives in Chicopee, Ma. Dave will work with individuals, families, employers or recovery agencies upon request.
Please share this article to help someone get help. You may not even know when you reach the person who needs this. Thank you, Dave