Addiction Recovery is Defined by the Person In It

Although addiction recovery has some general aspects, each person in recovery has an individual journey. The internet has much help in helping us find our way. Some ideas:

1. From Self-Compassion:

“Dear Readers,
The one thing I have learned in recovery and therapy, is that I cannot be a very giving person when I am treating myself with anger.
I have written about being angry at my body and being very hard on myself, before.
I have made wonderful strides in this area, and now I am much nicer to myself.
I know I am human, and can only do what I can.
I know I will make mistakes.
It took a lot of self talk and reading to learn to do this. A good therapist helped, as well as listening to other people at meetings.

The kinder I am to myself, I find I extend that kindness to other people.
We are all humans.

I now realize everyone suffers in life. Everyone makes mistakes.
When I judge myself less, I find myself judging other people less.

I had to learn to forgive myself for the things I had done when I was drinking.
This came about while I made amends to people I had hurt, especially my husband. He loves me unconditionally, and therefore I was able to start to heal myself.

2. From 12 Steps–Sickness–Resentments

“How does the program work?  I am questioning this today because I am feeling powerless over my friend and his very slow recovery. I feel guilty because I can’t swoop in and save him and even more guilty that I really don’t want to be his savior or any ones savior anymore.

The program is about deciding first that you have a problem and your powerless over it – then believing that some where out there or in here is a power greater than ourselves can fix this and turning it over to that power – Here is the tricky part deciding what is our part in the situation – then admitting it to ourselves and then someone else – then rolling around in it for awhile just getting use to the idea that we have a problem and we really do want to do something about it – after we are willing to give up get past the resistance and denial finally asking for the problem to be taken from us – deciding who we have hurt in the process and then going to  them and asking for forgiveness – being mature and staying current with our daily wrongs being honest with ourselves and others when we slip up – asking for guidance everyday and actually listening for an answer – living life being the best we can be and hoping that by doing so will inspire others to do the same.

How is that for my version of the 12 steps?  I feel powerless for sure in this situation and I know the program tells us that the ones closest to us are the least likely to help us when we are lost. This is why our best friend can say something a million times and we never hear it and then a stranger comes along and says the same thing and we think they are brilliant. We reject the truth from the people that love us because we don’t want them to be right.

3. From All Fogs Are Temporary:

The same applies to the mental fogs that sometimes descend upon us. When the fog closes in we feel disoriented and confused. We lose our bearings and panic sets in. We don’t know where we are and we don’t know where we are going. We become afraid as who knows what monsters lurk out there in the shadows. The fear of the unknown is magnified as our mind starts to play tricks upon us. Depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and self loathing set in. Our defences crumble as the armies of despair and paranoia overwhelm us. We turn on ourselves. And our fog filled minds can be our most bitter enemy as it knows every weakness to play upon and every button to push. We succumb to it.

Fog conceals the truth.

It plays tricks. It is a liar. It distorts and twists. It may seem impenetrable but the truth is that the light is still there. And the fog in our heads has only temporary power over it. The light and the truth are constant. They are set in stone. The sun and the moon will always be there when the fog lifts. Clear skies will return to show you that nothing has changed. Mental illness is not who you are. You are who you are. And that will never change. Your soul will continue to shine brightly just as the stars will continue to shine at night. No fog can steal that from you.

How do I know this? Because I too have stood in the fog unable to see past my own hand. I have fallen to my knees and given up all hope of ever finding a way out. But I did. And when I did emerge I discovered that nothing had changed. My loved ones still loved me. I was still the same me. The mental fog I had struggled with had merely distorted my vision and muddied the waters. It had polluted my perception of who I was and what I stood for. It had created an altered state where I could not flourish and thrive. A state where subjective, pessimistic thinking reigned and hopelessness took root.

And if I can do it then so can you as well. The sun will always burn away the fog. It’s rays of faith, hope and love will break through and will light the way for you. It can set you back on the right path, the road to recovery and well being. The light will always emerge victorious over the darkness. The fog will always dissipate and no matter what you addiction or obsession it is temporary. All chains can be broken. Freedom is a choice. All you have to do is believe and make that choice. Make the right decision. Today. Now. Walk out of the fog and welcome to the rest of your life.

Photo credit.