Celebrating Independence from the Shackles of Addiction
This Independence Day, our residents not celebrated the Country’s freedom but also their freedom from a life of dependence on substance abuse. Shafa residents invoked the spirit of freedom and imbibed the nascent oxygen of “azadi”.
Freedom not only implies right to expression but also the right to choose. Our residents always had the right to choose. Freedom is NOT doing whatever the heart desires right now. Freedom is the possibility of doing whatever the heart desires right now. Freedom is the possibility of breaking free, if and when needed. Freedom is the confidence of not being chained in an unhappy state. Pursuit of freedom is to continuously ensure that one is not relenting control of life to any person or any sort of circumstances. Freedom is self-confidence in the face of complex present and uncertain future.
But for our country it’s a day of independence. It’s a day when we remember how our our ancestors fought for their freedom and then set out to create a new democracy. And now, more than 70 years later, amidst the parties and colorful explosions, it’s a good time to celebrate the freedom that our residents have personally fought for: the freedom from addiction.
It’s a hard-won battle, to be sure, and one that every addict will fight everyday for the rest of his life. But the battle becomes easier and all the fighting that they’ve done becomes the source of their strength — the knowledge that one day at a time will get them through today, just like it did yesterday and the day before that and all the other days that have led them here. At Shafa Home, we told our residents that they’ve fought hard for their recovery and should celebrate it, along with the independence it brings.
Our residents reflected upon the idea of “Independence”. When you first think about it, the obvious things come to mind: you’re free from the hold that alcohol or drugs had on you; you’re free from the loss of control they brought; and you’re free from the hangovers and withdrawal symptoms. But as start your path to recovery, you start to realize that there are a lot of other things that were taking away your freedoms — things you are now independent from. You’re free from needing to find a fix several times a day, or being near a liquor store when it opens so you can get through the morning. You’re free to spend your money on things other than drugs and alcohol. You’re free to plan your future, with school and a career and even a family. Or maybe you’re free to reconnect with family and friends without fear of losing them again due to your addiction. You’re free to drive again without worrying that you might hurt yourself or someone else because you were drunk. You’re free to go on vacation without worrying about where you will get a fix in another city or country. You’re free to go to a friend’s wedding without fear you might get drunk and embarrass yourself. You’re free to dream.
Also, think about all the anxiety and trauma that fueled your addiction and how facing that during your recovery gave you the freedom to move past it, the freedom not to need drugs or alcohol to numb yourself. Facing your fears and moving through them is one of the hardest things any of us will ever do, but once you have done that you will have the freedom to do all the things those fears were hindering.
Having said that, we really congratulate each and every one and thanks the nation on our 70th Independence Day…..