This blog is actually in celebration of my having 24 years in recovery from drug (alcohol too) Addiction. I am sharing because this world runs rampant with different addictions. People struggle with a lot!!! Now with a pandemic people are struggling even more with staying in their bodies. Often times these “out of body” experiences are the ends or means of addiction. A person with one addiction may talk poorly about another person with another addiction as learned behavior and a way of to not look at one’s self. What if we all became aware of our own addiction?
“Addict,” I wear that label proudly and humbly. My recovery has taught me to live life on life’s terms accepting the good with the bad, happy with the sad. It has taught me to embrace many polarities and paradoxes. We are often taught as humans to see things as black and white, which is what leads to single-minded judgment because they are but they aren’t and when we can accept that and learn to embrace the polarities then we can become more expansive. I find that a lot of labels can be restricting, but this one and has given me a life I can be grateful for eery day I wake up and live a life of unlimited possibilities through reasonable expectations. To be able to feel divinely connected ( a word I didn’t think applied to me before recovery), and to be able to feel the convictions from my soul knowing that I couldn’t have these convictions without the urging of a power greater than myself, therefore my ideas that are dreams may come to fruition even more than I imagine, but the coolest part of that is that it comes from love; a place where all fear is removed to help others find their source and soul without expectations and control.
Let’s look at the word Addict:
Addict ~ One exhibiting a compulsive, chronic, physiological or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior or activity.
One inclined to do, use, or indulge in something repeatedly. ~ Webster Dictionary
” Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” ~ Vince Lombardi
Addiction is like most disorders, it acts out in our coping mechanisms, it pretends to help us find comfort or relax, only to bring sabotage and regret.
I didn’t know that 24 years ago I would still be growing in recovery, it isn’t easy to stay clean, but it is…All we have to do is not pickup for 24 hours to get a day, sometimes getting a day comes with staying clean minutes at a time, hours at a time until we have another day down. Addiction is a cunning baffling disease or disorder whichever you way you wish to see it but what we learn and how we learn to get humble is asking for help. I tried to be “normal” by myself and it didn’t work. I learned that addiction is continuing and progressive, even if we move, get married, have kids and /or jobs. The good news is that recovery is progressive too and that is why I am still here, sponsoring, chairing meetings, growing and evolving. Being of service has given me my purpose!
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier
I didn’t feel that way when I first started my journey, in fact it was scary and I was scared that all my identity was going to be ripped away. I was uncomfortable talking to these people and their happiness or authenticity disturbed me, I thought that they were laughing at me or judging me. After a few years in recovery I had to learn that it wasn’t all about me and how to expand my language and self, that’s growth! Underneath addiction is codependency and underneath codependency is grief per Melody Beattie and Dr. Drew. I didn’t know that I had all of this going on in me when I celebrated that first year. I found that it was not a graduation program, that is why it says we can only keep what we have by giving it away.
Giving it away allowed me to not only expand my communication but to be exposed to joys and sorrows of another, healing my own shame on a deeper level as I had more compassion for others than I had for myself. I began what I call “melting” as I was connecting with their feelings and the vulnerability through sharing. I had never experienced anything like that before, a solution that was growth based, resulting in the development of soul connections with other women, which I could later identify as my tribe and they are all over the world. I am so grateful for the soul connections I have been able to establish, they are still with me today. My sponsors gave freely to me and I am so grateful to them, they all have had a unique quality that I am able to share, love, that is what it is. We can’t love by ourselves, that is why I needed help. Who would we love by ourselves? I suggest that is the problem most folks have with the gift of love is that there is an expectation for people to love like them according to the rules they have set to feel happy and if one doesn’t, the other person doesn’t feel validated so they continue their search, through possibly addiction as it comes in a variety of ways; overeating, sex, drugs/alcohol, video games, social media, gambling, shopping and etc. When someone isn’t “loving” us right what do we do? We try to fill the hole in our soul with an addiction of sorts, there are many like I said. People used to just think it was just drugs but it is not. I have worn a make-up called “Dior~Addict,” no one thinks poorly of that, or a work out addict, or workaholic, those aren’t met with disgust so why do we label anyway?
Y’all know I don’t particularly care for labels so why would I be ok with having the label of “Addict” proudly and humbly? Here’s why, because knowing I am an addict keeps in my consciousness and all the hard work that I have done and the damage that I can do not only to myself but to others if I choose to use. Seeing people come in broken and to be able to freely give what was given to me is my reward. It also means the reward I get for being an addict isn’t sought or bought. I know I am an addict and knowing this addiction can manifest in a variety of ways keeps me right sized on a daily basis. I have a healthy fear of my addiction but I don’t hate my addiction because of it I have expanded and grown. The worries I had when I came in are gone, people weren’t laughing at me, they laugh with me. They weren’t judging me, they were loving me, showing me compassion and helping me to LEARN unconditional love as learning to love myself I could free others from my rules and second guessing because I didn’t know what love was. Love is individual and unlimited.
As individual human beings I do believe that is what we were all put here to do, to learn to love ourselves. WE then can truly give as we have to have love to be able to give it authentically and joyfully without expectation. This is what recovery has given me, the greatest gift of all, LOVE.
It is with deep gratitude to my sponsors and sponsees that have given me a piece of their soul(s) to carry with me always, I learned to trust from you. All of those souls in recovery who have lifted me up without fail. One specifically who thanks me every year he has clean as a reminder of my purpose. I also thank the couple that scooped me up outside the bar while I was in a blackout all those years ago on Friday the 13th, it could have been really bad but it wasn’t because of them. I did give up a lot but I gained even more! Because of all of them I celebrate 24 🙂
Closing thoughts are that I want you to know, if you are struggling with giving up something that is causing you harm, affecting relationships that with yourself included, that is sabotaging you from being the best version of yourself I want you to know you are so worthy of this love I speak of. It might be one minute that leads to an hour that leads to a day, that leads to months and years, it only starts with 24 hours. We don’t succeed as well on our own, we certainly don’t expand alone. I hope this encourages someone to break free from the fear of stigma, the fear of losing oneself because on the other side of fear is love, you are so worth that and the freedom it brings!
June 14th is a great (fuckin’) day to be clean!!! I’ll take another 24 hours please 🙂
Thanks so much for taking the time to read!!! I hope this is helpful ~