From the heart of a person in recovery…
Addiction isn’t something that most people would think of as a blessing, however, as many who come to live in recovery discover, it is the greatest blessing of their lives. While active addiction is painful and difficult to traverse, recovery is often beyond the dreams of many.
Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher said, “….that which does not kill us, makes us stronger…”
This now infamous quote is true and has been proven by thousands, maybe millions of people who have survived addiction and gone on to transform their lives into ones of mastery and navigation of all the large and small curveballs, instances of joy, and tons of gratitude moments that their lives have presented to them since they decided to “do the work” of recovery. These are individuals who have lived with all kinds of addictions, dependencies, and compulsions like alcoholism, spending money, workaholism, sex, exercise, etc.
Dependencies on anything outside of our bodies have a common psychological, physical, and spiritual, landscape. Addictive behavior is compulsive behavior which is shame-based behavior. For example:
- I will look and feel better (about myself) if I have a glowing tan (skin cancer).
- I will be a real competitor if I can just spend more time on the trails and in the gym (to the neglect of my significant relationships).
- I sure told my boss what’s what” (rageaholic who just lost their job).
- A little boost before I go into court will do it (coke using attorney)!
- A few cocktails sure will make this party more endurable (middle stage alcoholic who suffers from social anxiety).
- A new dress will make this occasion just right” (credit card addict with an enormous balance on three credit cards).
Healing our shame-based, fractured, and traumatized psyches is work with a capital W.
We do not see the work that enables people to live life on its own terms. The fire department is not called when someone is “standing in the fire” required to burn off the dross of addictive behaviors in order to make space for life-sustaining healthy ones.
Learning to manage situations which used to trip us and dealing with seething resentments that fueled our drinking binges or so we thought is always “blood, sweat, and tears, work. Becoming dead level honest and communicating thoughts and feelings in that manner takes time, guidance, and trust. The ability to look at our “stuff” has to happen. Beware the friend that transformed into a human being from a human doing. There was gut-wrenching, painfully honest, scratch, and claw, processes that are exhausting to construct or reconstruct that new human.
Recovering people are works in progress, there is always a new situation or hurdle to clear in the early years of recovery. Feeling comfortable in our own skins is a goal and a landing. And there are other blessings, real blessings that those in recovery are so grateful to have:
- Realizing how being addicted to mood-altering anything taught lessons that we need to learn to live well is the first blessing.
- The sense of feeling good enough the way we are or self-acceptance is a blessing from addiction/recovery.
- Feeling grateful for every day; another huge blessing.
- Forgiving ourselves and others, admitting our part in something, asking for help, all, skills that we may have never possessed, but now have.
- Connections with others without the “less than” feeling and a connection with something that we believe is greater than ourselves and learning to live in “the right”
- A relationship with that “Higher Power” is a direct result of the willingness, the courage, and the chutzpah of “doing the work”.
If you survive addiction and thrive in recovery, you truly have been blessed.
Are you living with an addiction? If you’re ready to take the first brave step and get help Futures Recovery Healthcare is here for you. Contact us online or call 866-804-2098.