The Struggle is Real for Everyone

This is kinda of a running/non-running related post. If anyone has read my posts from the beginning, then you will know I’m a substance use disorder therapist by career. Last night I was in group,it was family night, there two mothers in attendance who I asked to share what their experiences were like dealing with their adult children, now sober, when they were in active addiction. It’s good for the the group to understand this point of view, because in addiction and in early recovery, all you hear is “they don’t understand the addicts point of view”. Anyway, the family members shared and I asked for feedback from the group, I know it is hard for them to hear because they want everything to be forgiven quickly just because they stopped using. Well that’s not how it works. The family is living in the aftermath of the addiction, just like someone who has to clean up after a tornado, or like the recent floods here in WV, the same holds true for the clean up after addiction. It takes a long time, years in fact.

Some of the feedback they gave was like “well when I go to meetings people don’t like that I’m on medication and it makes me feel bad” (This is a medication assisted treatment program), or “I don’t have time to go to meetings”.  The excuses went on and on. I say all this to say, if we want change we have to do the work. No matter the illness or situation if we want change we have to do the freakin work! I’ve been working in this field for 25 years and have also done my own personal work so I believe I’m able to say this..but most of these folks didn’t care who saw them when they were out using, and made all the time in the world get high but believe they don’t have to do as much to get and stay sober. “It’s hard”. Well of course it’s hard. Change is hard. No matter the illness, whether it’s heart disease, gastric bypass, diabetes, depression, or addiction, there are going to be lifestyle changes. There are no quick fixes.

I started running over a year ago now; I use my journey with my running with my clients a lot because the process is the same if I wanted change I had to do the work. I never could have completed that first race if I only ran one day a week. And I can’t expect to do a half-marathon if I don’t train for it or make excuses to not run. A person can’t expect to lose 300 pounds that took years and years to put on by  going to the gym or working out only one day a week and not making any other changes. And a person can’t expect to beat addiction that took years and years to develop, using 7 days a week, just by taking medication or going to one meeting a week. You have to put as much into the recovery as the addiction….NO EXCUSES. It is no different than anything else. The work has to be done; and yes there will be days when you don’t feel like doing a thing and those are days you have to push through it. I had one of those days last week. I’m dealing with some medical stuff right now nothing major but it makes me a little fatigued; but I really did not feel like running on Tuesday and it was hot out too. But I did anyway, but it was a very slow paced run which was just fine. I did it and kept my body in check.

The struggle is real for everyone, everyone is busy, but we have to decide how bad we want the change and do what it takes to get what we want. We need the right supports in place to push through when we feel ourselves waiver or want to say the heck with it on the bad days and we will have those, trust. But when we reach the goal it will all be worth it….



Author: Tammi Lewis

I was born and raised in WV. I live in Charleston, WV. I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Charleston and from Marshall University Graduate College with my Master’s Degree. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. I have been in the field of mental health and substance abuse for about 26 years. I started running about two years ago by beginning a running program to help me prepare for my first 5k. I had wanted to run a 5k for years but never got around to doing it. Two years ago there was an event that happened which sent me on an emotional rollercoaster; starting this program was a way to get off that rollercoaster. Once I finished that first 5k I got the running bug and haven't stopped running since.

2 thoughts on “The Struggle is Real for Everyone”

  1. YES! When you parse it right down, either you do it or you don’t. Choices. As you point, out, there are some people who pretend they don’t have choices and blame outside influences. For me, once I realized that I was the only one that was responsible. it was a freeing moment. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

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