One of the difficulties an addict faces early in recovery is the expectation that they will go back to their “old selves”. Friends and family will often expect things to return to the way that they were before. The addict may also believe that they can handle being put back into their prior surrounding. Most of the time, continuing a new life in recovery doesn’t allow this. Living through something as tragic as addiction requires a change in that person. Luckily, a new start in recovery means changes for good. The same thing happens when someone becomes a follower of Christ, or when their faith in Him is renewed.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
To embrace the new means letting go of the old. If an addict returns to their prior surroundings and doesn’t continue life in their new self, they will ultimately relapse. Addiction often stems from unresolved issues, a lack of coping skills, etc. When an addict begins to work through these issues, their life begins to change in positive ways. Recovery isn’t just about not using, it’s about rebuilding yourself.
Part of creating this new life includes setting boundaries with those who still choose to live in addiction. Returning to the former manner of life means returning to former friends, which is not always possible. This is why people in recovery so often relocate after attending a treatment facility. It’s okay to be a glimmer of light in their darkness, but if they do not choose to change their lifestyle then it is not safe to be around them. The important thing to remember is the changes being made are the right changes, and will ultimately lead to a healthy and successful future.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”
Just as we must give our lives to Christ, the life of addiction must be lost in order to find recovery. This does not mean that the past is forgotten or not spoken of. The struggles are often what lead to greatness. It is simply that those pieces of the past have been washed away, and a new beginning is what is left.