Addiction Recovery

16: Finding Infinite Happiness in Recovery

January 22, 2024 Steven T. Ginsburg Season 1 Episode 16
Addiction Recovery
16: Finding Infinite Happiness in Recovery
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers


Explore the transformative journey towards authentic happiness in recovery with hosts Steve Coughran and Steven Ginsburg. We delve into the complexity of finding joy beyond addiction's confines. Rather than seeking a problem-free life, our conversation celebrates overcoming challenges and challenges the misconception that those in recovery are undeserving of happiness.

We candidly navigate societal and internal pressures that can distort the pursuit of fulfillment, emphasizing that true contentment arises from internal healing. Sharing pivotal moments when individuals confront the power of addiction, we highlight the importance of abstinence and the serene promise of approaching recovery one day at a time.

Helpful Links:
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery:  1-800-982-5530

DISCLAIMER:

Welcome to the Addiction Recovery podcast, brought to you by Restore Detox Centers. We are dedicated to providing valuable and insightful information on addiction recovery. However, it is essential to understand that the content shared in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. While we strive to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information presented, we cannot guarantee its completeness or suitability for individual circumstances. The topics discussed in this podcast are based on general knowledge and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice or treatment.

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Steve Coughran:

This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey there, and welcome back to another episode of Addiction Recovery. I'm Steve Coughran and I'm here with Steven Ginsburg kicking off the new year. We're a few weeks in but, steven, welcome back to the podcast. So great to be together again.

Steven Ginsburg:

I love our time together. I love where we get to continue to shed the light on dark places and talk about the solution and the truth.

Steve Coughran:

And we're going to fall upon last week's episode where we're talking about unleashing the endless potential of the sober life. And I really liked that episode because, you know, when I was done recording it with you, I just felt this like sense of hope and you know, it's just excitement for the future Because when you think about the potential that I have within myself, that you have, that everybody else has out there, you know, within it's just exciting of just you know what's to come.

Steven Ginsburg:

I left that last episode feeling really good and I'm sure a lot of people out there felt the same I love that and I agree with you that is a topic I could stay on every day, all day, because there's so much hope to it all, and I'm really happy that you and I, in this year that's unfolding, are staying focused on line items like that, because there's just so much to be gained through sobriety.

Steve Coughran:

Absolutely so. Let's talk about finding infinite happiness in recovery. What does? That mean to you, steven, because we teed this up prior to recording this episode. But what does that exactly mean? Infinite happiness in recovery.

Steven Ginsburg:

Well, I think one of the first things that's important to mention is part of the joy of it all and that discovery is realizing that that doesn't mean it's going to be perfect and it's not a movie montage, a 24-hour movie, a 24-7. It's life on life's terms. But I think the beauty and where that real, genuine joy comes from is because we are living life on life's terms and because we are in the pursuit of the truth, a day at a time in our lives, in this journey of recovery, we are truly living authentically and we are walking and continuing to build on and understand our own brand of integrity, real integrity, and so many of those places where we have felt deficient, where we have felt less than we realize those things are lies of the dis-ease of the disease of addiction and alcoholism, and we start to live within that truth that we are capable, we are competent and there is nothing beyond our reach as long as we are doing our part.

Steve Coughran:

you know you work with a lot of individuals. You work with a lot of parents and loved ones. Do you think addicts truly want to be happy? I mean, do they care about happiness? What are your thoughts on that?

Steven Ginsburg:

I think that there's a real, there's a real desire for them to know peace and to live in joy. But I think they have a really bad Conversation, that they are Embedded in where they don't feel they're worthy of joy or of peace, and I think they can self-sabotage and they keep getting in their own way and they perpetuate that narrative and they just need someone to come alongside them and help them understand the truth and get Realigned and getting away from the substance use and the substance abuse. That's one of the quickest paths towards the proper reality so they can have a fulfilling life

Steve Coughran:

and let me explain what I'm talking about here. I was reading a book recently about happiness and finding joy. I like those types of books you know. It brought up the point that Somewhere along the lines we started communicating to ourselves and to our children and so on and so forth, that happiness is the absence of unhappiness. But that's not necessarily the case, because it's not like your life's gonna be happy and you're gonna find joy and peace when there's no problems. I Don't know about you, Steven, I like I have never gotten to that point in my life. No, and oftentimes we may trick ourselves, like when I was younger, I remember, is like okay, when I make a hundred thousand dollars a year, oh, my gosh, I'm gonna be like so happy, I'm not gonna worry about this or that, can live on my own and life's gonna be so much simpler. And I made a hundred grand a year and it's like okay. Then it's like okay, now, when you make a, when I make a million dollars a year, everything's gonna be so much better. And it's like, okay, you get to that milestone. And it's like, okay, it's actually not there. It's like, or when I get married, then all of a sudden like Now I'm not gonna feel lonely, I'm gonna have this partner. And like my problems are gonna go away and maybe some people they're not as naive to believe them. I'm kind of, you know, simplifying it, but I want to hear your thoughts on that. Do you believe that Happiness is the absence of unhappiness, or do you think you can be happy and you can find joy and you can find peace Amidst all the trials and tribulations that were constantly bombarded with? What are your thoughts on that?

Steven Ginsburg:

Two fold, I think. First of all, there is no amount of money, there's no car, there's no house, there's no person, and it's going to bring Myself, always me, and then we. That's my rule. I always want to apply it to myself, and then I'm willing to share with others, because then they can take or leave what they want. Steve, none of that was going to. That is exactly why my book is called filling the void, and that's not the shameless sleep what my book it's just that is. This topic is part of exactly why I wrote that title for that book. There was nothing that was gonna fill that emptiness inside of me, nothing in this whole wide world. What filled that emptiness for me was was my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and wherever people are with their journey with God, any power greater than themselves will fulfill that emptiness for them. That's first and foremost. Secondarily, I Believe when we are truly content and we find that, that inner love and that relationship with ourselves, we are truly able to live a life with purpose, a life with meaning, a life with pursuit. And none of that's gonna be about any material effects or another individual. It's gonna be about our own ability to put others first, to be of service, to make a difference a day at a time. It doesn't matter in what degree or what manner we do that. The contributions we will have to society a day at a time is where we will find that joy. And I think when, for myself and for other individuals, when they start to realize that is what's gonna bring fulfillment, those relationships, that real, authentic way of living, living transparently in that truth. I think that's where the fulfillment starts to come in. And some of these dispelled notions, to your points, Society to. It's always gonna be on to the next thing. But when you have that main thing, that integrity and that relationship with others and yourself, that's where you truly find your joy.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, and I agree with that. I mean, my wife and I will always talk about like last year, like 2023 is a tough year. The year before that was a terrible year and just a lot of different life changes and things that are happening in our lives. But we also look back on those years and we're like, oh my gosh, this was the best year of our lives. So how can there be that dichotomy? What are your thoughts on that? Like, how can you have the best of times and the worst of times at the same time? But look back and like dang, it is a great year.

Steven Ginsburg:

I love that . I think that just, I just can't help but think about the fact that hindsight's 2020. And then there we have it. We see perfectly, sometimes, when we're looking back and we realize if it wasn't for some of the pitfalls that occurred or some of the trials and tribulations that occurred, we never end up where we are. And that's where I think really and this becomes more of a universal broad stroke I think that's where, when we allow ourselves to trust and we allow ourselves, rather than self-willing, our way to it and through it, when we are willing to turn our will in our lives over to the care of something greater than ourselves and to realize truly hang on a back, hey, we're being led. Hey, we have not been brought this far to be left behind. There's a reason for it. It may not be apparent right now, hey, it may not be apparent until we're gone, but the appearance will come and realize that there is a greater purpose to everything and start to trace that back again. That's where I think you can really find the ability to be content and find that there is something good in every facet and in every chapter and season of our lives.

Steve Coughran:

Okay, well, let me play devil's advocate here for a minute, and I know what you're already gonna say. Of course I just know you. But let me just play the other side of the coin here. In the past I remember I loved smoking cigarettes. Like I loved it seriously. It was like it was great, which is crazy to think because I run Marathon. I like all fit. I hate my hands smelling bad. I can't believe. I used to smoke, but that was another time, but I loved it at the time. So when I thought of giving up smoking like forever, I'd be like forever, forever, never, ever, again, never. Or like okay, I'm never gonna have a beer again ever. It was like this anxiety or like wow, like how would I ever live life? I mean, there's like 80 years of life left. How am I not gonna do that? And it's just like overwhelming. So when we talk about finding happiness and recovery, Steven Is somebody thinking to themselves Can I just smoke a little bit of pot? Or like when I you know I'm not gonna do Coke every single day, but like every once in a while when I go out with my friends, my buddies, we like to do a little bit of Coke and it makes me happy. I don't want this life that's like restrictive, where I can't do what I want. Do you think somebody can find happiness in using drugs and alcohol if it's not this like full-blown problem?

Steven Ginsburg:

I don't listen, First and foremost, I've got a. There's no way I can answer that without doing somewhat of a disclaimer, for the reason that that I've got to serve everyone, everyone well and properly. I am not here to focus any individual who Is not having unmanageability in their life, who doesn't feel powerless over a substance of some sort and who is going along the mirror way and doing what works for them. I say God bless them. That is not. That is not the hill. I'm gonna die my my because you know that's that is their journey and I am here waiting for them on my piece of road if they ever want to cross over to it, and I will be waiting with open arms and open ears. That being said, because they are, they are complete like hammers and bananas are very different things. This facet of it is a completely different thing. If you are like me, we're like I am powerless over drugs and alcohol and my life had become unmanageable. That is the first step in program period. Any individual that has a man in their life because of substance abuse and use. In my book they qualify. That is the qualifier for alcoholism and addiction, and to look at sobriety. If you are built like I am like that. There is no little bit of anything. Anything we do will always lead us back to our substance of choice. Yeah, above and beyond that, it's shown and it's proven and it's written this beautiful piece of literature, the big book of alcoholics, and on this to the doctor's opinion that we are bodily and mentally different. When we ingest the mind altering substance, the phenomenon of craving kicks in and we go on Runs. That doesn't happen to a normal person. Normal person doesn't have a glass of Pinot Grigio and then wake up three weeks later out of a blackout in another country. Yeah, that's what happens to people like me, and never the two-shell meat. So I think it's all. It's all perfect, and Sometimes it's progressive over a number of years or time. Eventually people cross that threshold and the unmanageability Rears its ugly head. Fine, and sometimes it never does, and they go through a lifetime of manageable drug use and alcohol use. That's their choice and I I support that. It's when it comes into that silo and that facet of the unmanageability and the powerlessness, that is where there must be and divine intervention and an intervening moment, because your life is at risk and my life was at risk. But I will tell you this it's too much to look at forever, it's too much to look at tomorrow. But a day at a time, and sometimes an hour at a time and, steve, you've heard me say it, sometimes a minute at a time we are here to win the day. And when we abstain and we don't feed that monster and we live life on life's terms, like that, the promise is all come true and it is remarkable, the beauty of the lives we live.

Steve Coughran:

I love that. I mean, you can have said it better and you know I'll just conclude with this, then I'll turn the time over to you. Yeah, I was watching this thing from Brené Brown and she's essentially saying If you don't know who Brené Brown is, just Google, where she has this great Ted talk about shame and and you know all this stuff. But Anyway, she was talking about how we can't just numb certain parts of our lives. So you can't just be like, hey, I got this pain over here from this, like battery-relationship, this toxic relationship, so I'm just gonna numb myself to these feelings, but then I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna be happy in these other areas. It's like when you numb, you numb everything. You can't like selectively numb your life. Let me just say this I tend to side with Brené Brown and what you were saying. As far as you know, you can't just numb half of your life or be selective with the numbing process, or you know, hey, I'm gonna use a little bit of coke over here or I'm gonna drink over here. To me it is black and white, but that's just me, that's just Steve Coffrin's opinion, not everybody's opinion, but I just don't think you can be half pregnant in life, and if you wanna find true joy and happiness, I think it comes from abstinence In so many different ways.

Steven Ginsburg:

Listen, I concur with your point. Nothing you're gonna drink and just take or use is going to bring you that joy. It's an inside job and that's where this journey really becomes a pleasure, not a burden. And my real wish and hope for anyone and everyone out there is to live authentically, to live present to the moment. And sorry, I've gotta share it now because my place of discernment is hammering me and we've talked about this before, steve, so many times. Someone will be referred to me and they'll be like I don't know what's going on. I'm trying to figure out what's going on and I'll respectfully, humbly, say hey, can we take a day at a time? Can we take 30 days and have you take a break A day at a time? Can we take 30 days and have you take a break? And monumentally, over and over again, I will see the said individual, whatever it is. We're taking a break from just blossom and flourish, from abstaining during that period of time. So the proof is there and sometimes they never pick it up again. And sometimes they do. But the beauty is, to your point, to live lifefully where you are present and there is nothing, there's nothing dulling that gap or numbing us out from life on lifestorms. That is really a remarkable, authentic, courageous way to live, and that's where the fulfillment is for all of us.

Steve Coughran:

I agree. Well said, Steven, and for everybody who's listening, we would love to hear your thoughts and your feedback on these episodes. The podcast continues to grow, which is so remarkable, and we just feel so blessed and so grateful for everybody who's listening. If you have any comments, if you have any feedback, if you wanna connect with us, please reach out Hello at RestoreDetoxCenters. com. You can also find a lot of great resources on our website at RestoreDetoxCenters. com, so be sure to check that out. Steven, it is a pleasure doing this episode with you. Thank you so much.

Steven Ginsburg:

I love it as well. Brother, thank you for your time and just anyone out there. We would love to hear from you. We are here with you and for you in all things. Have a safe and a sober day.

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