The longer I have been sober the more I realize just how long my recovery journey has been. I also begin to realize that what I have learned on my journey is what fuels my desire and passion for your success!
The longer I have been working toward cultivating my true belief about my journey the more I realize just how many layers and textures and depths I have moved through. I can say I've been sober for 8 years, and after a 30-year relationship with alcohol, I can say the last eight years have been an enormous accomplishment. BUT if I focus only on the last eight years, I am not honoring my full and true recovery journey.
It is not a secret that I believe society holds a very narrow perspective around the true meaning of addiction and recovery who it's for and what it looks like. It's not a secret that I believe there is an entire population of people facing what I consider to be the not-so-normal faces of addiction and the importance of a recovery path for them. And it’s also not a secret that I believe too much of our power, our peace, our mindset, and our clarity is given away to something outside of ourselves.
Let me tell you a little story. If you are familiar with the traits and characteristics of process, behavioral, and chemical dependencies you’ll get why telling you this makes sense.
As a child I was always, perhaps inherently, driven to accomplish, to excel, to stand out. Until I wasn’t. I was reading, writing, doing arithmetic, and playing chess at 4, started classical piano at 5 ½ and competitive swimming at 6 ½. But I also felt invisible, unheard, disposable, and had a deep fear of missing out or being left behind. Now if I add some vulnerability in here, I also experienced a couple of significant traumas in this period, my first sexual assault to which I told no one about because even at 4 years old I felt nobody would listen or care. And I witnessed my father being struck by lightning. He survived, but to this day I am terrified by it.
All of these traumas, which are numerous, (I’ll explain more of that in a later blog) made me start looking at my life like it was always happening to me and nothing was working for me. Needless to say, my inability to properly heal from these traumas and gain the right coping skills led to my habits and addictions.
Now, I want to pause the story here, because I think there is something important that we can learn here. Just because the world may have a set way for you to go through your journey, you have to set the path of recovery for yourself! No one can do that for you. So, in honor of celebrating my 8 years of mental clarity, free from chemically induced fog and despair; I want to share with you the steps that I took to chart my own recovery path.
1. I made the decision that I was DONE.
2. I researched the processes I would need.
3. I interviewed programs… and their staff for early recovery.
4. I set a date and mapped out the process.
length of stay at the residential women’s program.
created MY exit plan – the after plan I knew would truly support my desire for changing the way I experienced myself and my environment while addressing past trauma and underlying beliefs.
5. I did the work, stayed pliable and flexible, focused on my why, made countless adjustments, learned how to listen to myself, and remained persistent.
Remember, just because I’m sharing this with you doesn’t mean you have to follow everything I did. But I hope this gave you some inspiration about how you can go about starting or continuing your recovery journey!
If you’re ready to take that next step, I am here for you. All you have to do is make a consultation and we can get started! If you’re a little more independent and you want to dig into your recovery with the right tools, head on over to www.turningleavesrecovery.com and visit our courses and our shop to find the tools and resources for you!
Until Next Time!
Your Recovery Lifestyle Coach