Wednesday, April 11, 2012


We are truly a quick fix or immediate gratification society.  We have drive-through fast food, drive-through pharmacy, drive-through car wash, etc.  Whatever the need or want the quicker it is met the better.  Alcohol and drugs are perhaps the ultimate “quick fix”.  I can escape life and not feel emotional pain.  However, how many others ways in life do we each look for the quick fix or easy way. 

I had a total hip replacement surgery the end of February.  My first question for the doctor was:  “when can I go back to work?”  He told me I could go back part-time in 2 weeks, however, he did not add that I could not drive for 4 weeks and I would still perhaps need pain medication.  Being on pain medication was a reminder of how easy addiction can slip in.  I noticed and other peers noticed that my clarity of thought was compromised on the pain medication.  I was unprepared for the “recovery” time needed.  It is almost 6 weeks since the surgery and I am still working toward a full recovery. 

When others decide to stop using alcohol or drugs, we talk about “recovery” and that it is not easy.  It is actually hard work.  Often the value of living in the moment, one day at a time, is recognized as the best way to live and work a good recovery program.  The value of patience with myself and others is encouraged as we begin to let go of guilt or shame or blaming others.  If we are “working” recovery, this impacts those around us as I begin to live true to myself and my values.  It often calls for changes from loved ones and friends.  Hopefully, I begin to make changes or grow toward a balance of self-care.   Learning to forgive myself and others and to love myself is critical for accepting help from those around me.  All growth and change calls for patience from me.   

I found all those recovery tools to recovery from addiction were applicable to my recovery from surgery.  However, while my recovery from a health issue may have an end in sight, recovery from addiction is a life long journey.  So can we be patient and enjoy the journey whether it is short or long term?

Sue Judd, MSS, LSAC
Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor

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