When Doors Close

Addiction recovery opens another

There is a saying that when one door closes, another always opens. This adage recognises that life seems to put obstacles in our paths when all avenues appear blocked, and we are stuck. It also acknowledges that such times can lead to new success and happiness if we are only willing to look around and see what other doors are open to us. There is always at least one other door – often many. Feeling stuck is simply our perception of what is happening in our lives. When we change our perceptions, we discover we are not stuck at all.

Addition and recovery from it are fine examples of closed and open doors. For years, we abused alcohol and drugs, overate, gambled, or tried to control people because that made us feel better about ourselves and our world. Then our addictions and compulsions turned on us. We could no longer find the pleasure or relief we used to find from them. The doors seemed to close with a bang for most of us when we hit bottom.

When we hit bottom, we did not know what to do. We were stuck on the merry-go-round of use, denial, addiction or compulsion. Our lives seemed permanently ruined; we were hopeless and helpless. We thought we had nowhere to turn. But we know now, looking back, that this perception was wrong.

Our despair somehow led us to the process of recovery. Or we may have sought help on our own, or our employer, the courts, or a loved one may have insisted we entered a treatment program. We sought an appointment with a therapist or checked into rehab. We may not even be sure how it happened, a door we had not even known was there suddenly opened, and we stepped through to a new, productive, and satisfying phase of life.

The “honeymoon”

We often expect only good things to happen now that we are abstinent, although our recovery program certainly doesn’t promise this. Many people experience a “honeymoon” when they begin their recovery process. Many of our problems begin to clear up; we may reunite with our families; the employer who threatened to fire us may welcome us back to work. Our financial issues may begin to clear up. We may find a new group of friends and, more importantly, have a new way of life that will bring the peace of mind we always wanted.

Eventually, the “honeymoon” ends, however. As we go about our daily affairs and begin to live fuller lives, we find it doesn’t all go smoothly. Open doors suddenly close in our faces.

For instance, we may feel ready to make a lucrative career change, but we discover that a job isn’t available or someone else was hired. Our heart may be set on moving to a new apartment or location, but we cannot do so. Vacation or travel plans may be interrupted. We may think we have found our lifelong partner, only to have the romance end suddenly and unpleasantly. 

We often go through periods when all doors seem closed. Our best plans go awry, no matter how hard we work. Such times are incredibly frustrating.

You are the key to a closed door

The solution is tind the open door. All too often, we fail to see the good in a difficult situation. Our minds are wired in such a funny way that we tend to believe that it must be a bad thing just because a door is closed. 

Our own stories of addiction and recovery contain the keys to finding and opening new doors, and the Twelve Steps provide the method. If you are lucky, your therapist may themselves be in recovery and thus can provide immense identification and empathy.

We can take constructive action when a door closes rather than spending our emotions destructively. We can turn closed doors into powerful learning experiences. We can move ahead. When we understand the circumstances around us, we can build a foundation that allows us to decide what to do next.

Every closed door isn’t locked, and even if it is, YOU just might have the key!

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call Freephone 0800 140 4044

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