What is Recovery? In my opinion...
So often we start this process, and we think it’s all about putting down the drugs or the alcohol. That may be the start, but recovery is something so much more then sobriety. I remember this Xzibit song from years ago, that had a line in it that said, “Damn, I hate being sober.” That is the actual truth, but I can tell you I love being in Recovery!!!
First off, the commitment we make to recovery is a deeply intimate and personal decision that each one of us makes with and for ourselves. It’s not for another person, or in spite of someone saying we can’t. It’s a commitment to constantly learning more about ourselves to the deepest depths we can. It’s a commitment to finding our truth, our path, and our purpose. I could sit here and give you this prototypical AA spiel of “it works if you work it”, and all the other cliché’s, they are true, but in reality. I’d like to give you what’s in my heart. What I feel about Recovery.
Recovery is, in my opinion;
Being able to listen to another person in turmoil, and asking them what they need in that moment, and being able to provide that. Pulling from our past, and our ability to recall our darkness, while simultaneously embracing and sharing the light we have found. It’s being able to hold space for those we love and care for, and subsequently hold space for those that perhaps we are not so fond of.
It’s understanding different views, and withholding judgement, replacing that judgement with empathy and compassion.
It’s about setting boundaries, and recognizing/understanding those boundaries are not someone else’s responsibility to uphold, but our own. We set them, no one else is responsible for abiding by them. “Walls keep people out, boundaries show them where the door is.” Unknown.
It’s about facing our fears, whatever those fears may be…. The fear of abandonment, fear of not being good enough, fear of financial insecurity, and the list goes on. Identifying these fears, facing them, and asking our creator to remove them. Finding freedom to put it very simply.
It’s about finding peace. Addicts create chaos in active addiction, we need it to survive, or so we feel. Because of that, we are uniquely equipped to stand in the flames. Recovery brings us that peace. Today, I can stand in another’s chaos, and hold empathy, space for them without jeopardizing my own recovery.
It’s about getting our families back, being present in our kids’ lives, doing “the most” for a birthday, or Christmas celebration just because we want others to feel loved.
It’s about humility, understanding what humility is, and the difference between being humble and self-degradation.
It’s about fostering a safe environment for those we come in contact with, and protecting what we love at all costs.
It’s about finding our tribe, the people we align with on a spiritual level. The people that will guide us, embrace us, encourage us, and above all else hold us accountable.
It’s about integrity!! What are we doing when no one else is watching.
It’s about learning how to embrace the FEEL in our lives, and acting less on thought. The “Pause” We feel with our hearts, and we think with our minds. Feeling is LOVE.
It’s about personal growth, and not measuring ourselves against another. Continuing to ask God for the ability to acquire knowledge and understanding, so that we may better do his will. “Make me a vessel.”
It’s about righting the wrongs of the past, and when we cannot physically right the wrong, it’s about actively deciding to have the awareness and putting in the effort to not make that same wrong again.
It’s about finding God, on a deeper level, or “higher power” if that’s your jam. Developing that relationship with him, through nature, our conversations with God, whatever it takes to bring us closer. God is everywhere, you just have to look for him. Recovery is nothing that I thought it would be, and so much more then I could have ever imagined it could be.
I was talking with a friend the other day, and we were talking about what recovery is. The statement I made was, “it’s how we move through the world”, and her response was, “it’s the calm we bring with us.” That has stuck with me since the moment it was said. Recovery is not about perfection, it’s not about doing everything right every moment of every day. It’s about progress. Everything I’ve mentioned above, I fall short of in some aspect every day, but Recovery is LOVE, it’s about finding LOVE, giving LOVE, and receiving LOVE in everything that we do each and every day that we do it.