When Does It Get Better?

by The Discovering Alcoholic on September 3, 2007

With a timeline that stretches form the stock market crash of 1929 to our entry into World War II, the Great Depression in the United States could be considered as being aptly named. The picture to the left is one of my favorites of the era, it can be found at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. It seems the mother has become resigned to her fate while her children avert their eyes as if afraid to look forward. In truth, there was very little to look forward to during this bleak time of bank failures, rampant unemployment, and high poverty. All this came to mind after one of my recovery meetings when I had someone ask the sincere question, “When does it get better?”

It was the same person who had jokingly said in our meeting that the only thing he learned in the meeting was, “that sobriety was depressing.” He was right too! For those of us that have been using drugs and alcohol as the answer to all our problems in life for years upon years, initially sobriety is depressing. Alcohol and drugs colored our perceptions of marriage, children, work, stress, and leisure in a manner that makes reality seem so strange and confusing… it can be downright depressing try to figure what it is missing from a clean and sober world.

What is missing? When does it get better? The answer to both of these questions can be found in recovery. It starts getting better the moment an addict or alcoholic stops looking for that “magic bullet” and starts proactively working their program. The end of the Great Depression has been contributed to massive construction projects where the government created work and of course World War II, but thankfully it doesn’t take starting a war to enter recovery. It does however involve getting out there and fighting to regain a life. It takes getting a job, going to meetings, and bettering oneself while learning new things and taking chances.

Answers used to come bottled and in pill form, now they spring from beads of sweat, trial and error, and from the courage to speak up. It doesn’t get better until you decide to do something about it.

When does it get better? I don’t know, and neither will you unless you start working a recovery program.

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