Brooks Behavioral Health Services
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Finishing the Job the Right Way

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I remember as a kid growing up in Texas. Hurricanes would come through and turn a community upside down. We would hear about a hurricane a few days before it would hit and pack a few pictures/keep sakes but nothing more. I would see people boarding their homes but my father never did. I would ask him why; his response would be “we have insurance”.
We would leave the Houston area and drive to my aunt’s house in Dallas until it was over. When we would return home, our house would be in disarray. All the furniture would be on one side of every room, a water line would be on the wall, and the roof would have missing shingles everywhere. General contractors driving around making bids to complete all your work for one low price so that you could pocket the rest of the money. My father would never use a general contractor because he said, “I will get a roofing company for the roof, each person will only do what they are trained to repair” His belief was he didn’t need to pocket any money because he wanted his house to look better than it was before we left.

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I remember he would take walls down to make the living room bigger or extend the house for a game room because those were things that he always wanted to do to the house. We would have to stay in a hotel for a few weeks but it was worth it in the long run. Our home would look ten times better every time.

We live in a microwave world that loves instant gratification and getting something without putting in the work. Over the years, I have watched people start their recovery from drugs and alcohol try to do it the quick and easy way. Imagine recovery like a home after a hurricane, everything is destroyed and in shambles: Sheetrock and insulation is ruined due to water, ceiling is caved due to leaky roof, all the furniture is soaked.

People in recovery think all they must do is not use and everything will be better. Thinking this way is like walking in the house, moving all the furniture back in its place, putting sheets on the mattress, buying a new television, plugging it in, sitting on the moldy couch, and going back to your old life again. This thought pattern is how the dry drunk syndrome was created, having all the old, unhealthy characteristics but only focused on not using substances.

Recovery is going into the old house getting everything evaluated even if you think it is okay, listening to the response of the evaluator, and working on fixing every problem. This doesn’t mean that it should be done all at once but they must be in the blueprints of your recovery. Mental health, substance abuse, job skills, coping skills, building financial credit, character flaws, past trauma, acquiring education, etc.; whatever your house needs to be prepared for the next hurricane. So before the next tornado or hurricane comes, the house that you repaired is a wonderful place to live and create beautiful moments. Don’t get me wrong, it takes time and it is a process but it is well worth it for you and the people that encounter you daily.

Have you got your house in order? Anything still needs to be repaired or upgraded? If so when are you going to seek a professional and ask for help?

David Brooks