Recovering from addiction should be a humbling experience. It should force you to reassess the way you’ve conducted your life.
But it should not be an emasculating experience. Recovery is an opportunity to start over and evolve into the man you’ve always wanted to become.
When I drank, I prided myself on my ability to drink everyone I knew under the table. I had a tough persona but I couldn’t make it to 5 PM sober without feeling like a chicken with its head cut off. I was a fake badass.
I needed to change.
Yet after a certain point, recovery cliches about “surrender” stopped appealing to me. They sounded like commands to embrace safety and mediocrity in exchange for redemption and a chance to stay in a bland-sounding “sobriety.”
I wanted to shed my superficial ego without losing my real, core self.
My core self was not a permanently humble has-been who apologizes endlessly for past transgressions. Trying to become this kind of person on a permanent basis would have steered me towards relapse.
And so I had the following epiphany:
The solution to the illusion of strength is to discover and develop your real strength.
The solution to being a fake badass is to become a real badass.
I didn’t need to accept weakness; I needed to discover strength. I didn’t need to forsake the illusion of strength provided by alcohol; I needed to find an anchor for my talents in reality.
It is possible to surrender your destructive former self without losing your identity, or your dreams of achieving greatness and fulfillment, in the process.
You can choose to aim low for the rest of your life, permanently surrendering your sense of self and clinging to mediocrity for fear of disappointment and ensuing relapse. Or you can choose to get stronger and better.
Getting stronger and better means changing your life from the bottom up.
Changing your life from the bottom up begins with restoring your physiology:
1. Planning for acute withdrawals (consult a doctor for short-term detox meds).
2. Restoring vital nutrients – vitamins, minerals, amino acids – to your body via supplementation.
3. Restoring energy, endorphins, and muscle mass to your body via strength training.
Because addiction is a physical condition, it’s best to start fixing your physiology as soon as you possibly can.
Happiness simply isn’t possible for people with weak, nutrient-depleted bodies or unbalanced, neurotransmitter-depleted brains.
Your mind and body aren’t separate entities – they exist in the form of one entity: YOU. Anything that affects one will affect the other. Mind and body exist in a state of natural synergy.
Supplementation, healthy food and strength training are all necessary to sustain your physical apparatus while you rebuild your mind.
Once you start rebuilding your body and brain chemistry, you can focus on the more esoteric mind shifts you’ll need to make life your drug of choice.
Rebuilding your body will give you a sense of achievement NOW – and this will give you the patience you need to rewire your brain.
Fitness isn’t just for bodybuilders and athletes.
Tackle your fitness and you’ll start producing hormones and neurotransmitters that make peace of mind possible.
You will wake up one day, as I did, and be grateful that your hands aren’t shaking – and you will think, “Wow, the sunrise is actually a beautiful thing.”
You’ll still remember when you dreaded the sun coming up in the morning, back when it signified another day of inevitable cravings instead of a brand new day with endless possibilities.
But your mind won’t be in that dark place anymore because you’ll have excised the substance that was torturing you, replenished your neurotransmitters, restored your energy levels, and learned how to sleep soundly again.
I’m proof that this is possible. Trust me, feeling good today feels MUCH better than when “feeling good” meant drinking well over a liter of hard alcohol a day.
If you foster the natural synergy between your body and your mind, you will experience complete rather than partial transformation. Your newfound sense of well-being and pride will eventually become the most effective barrier against relapse that you could ever imagine.
You will begin to see life as an open-ended project with the best days still ahead of you – no matter what you’ve lost in the past.
You can transform yourself from a broken alcoholic into a Recovered Badass Man.
Let me clarify: a badass is not an asshole. A Recovered Badass Man learns about and implements every method that can help him live the life he wants to live.
His life is an exciting, suspenseful MISSION – not a bland “journey” that requires “sacrifice.”
Addiction wasn’t fun, but living life on your own terms will be.
One day you’ll wake up and realize that you don’t need artificial highs because you’re high on life.
You only have one life – and if you’re like me, you’re lucky to be alive.
Never forget it!!