Recovering from addiction, if done right, will be the hardest thing you ever do in life. If you’re doing it wrong, then doing it right will be the second hardest thing you ever do.
For the last, oh, I don’t know, several thousand years or so, alcoholics have been trying to switch addictions to cope with quitting their drug/drink of choice. Beer only, wine only, liquor only, foo-foo drinks only… weed only, pills only, heroin only, cocaine only, weed and beer, coke to get up, booze to come down… you get the idea. Hey, why not swing for the fences and throw meth in there for good measure? I’m sure that’ll end well.
Friends, there is no escape an addict won’t exploit. If it makes us feel good, without proper motives and checks, we’ll abuse it. It’s what we do.
The problem is not that we abuse the $#!+ that makes us feel good, it’s that we have to escape what is happening around us, that we want to escape life (usually synonymous with our bad decisions and the wreckage we create). As addicts, we used to escape, to hide from life, therefore anything that gives us that escape in recovery has to be suspect (even, gulp, cycling). If it’s mood or mind-altering, in the form of a drug, it’s simply off limits (there are exceptions, obviously, but none of them include self-diagnosis or pot – though feel free to kid yourself. I won’t try to stop you). If it’s something that simply puts a smile on our face, like cycling in my case, we must constantly assess our motives and our behavior. If we don’t, we risk creating more, new wreckage from which we’ll seek to hide. And that will start the cycle of destruction and the downward spiral to relapse.
That’s how $#!+ works.
In the end, Captain Obvious, it’s very simple; quit first, recover second. Sadly, we don’t get to put the cart before the horse. I can’t have the benefits of recovery if I won’t quit in the first place.