WHY RECOVERY: Those who live around the addicts, are often just as sick as the addict themselves


I had a friend once ask me, “Why do you call it recovery? What are you recovering from?”


When she asked this question, I had been in my recovery process for several years and it seemed so obvious to me why I was in recovery. As I remember back to the early stages I hadn’t called it recovery. I didn’t have a name for what I needed, I just knew I needed a change, that I was in desperate despair. 


At the start of my journey, I had been living around loved ones who struggled severely with addiction for years. Their struggle had become all-encompassing not only in their own lives, but it had also begun to engulf and impact the lives of all surrounding loved ones. The pain and heartache seemed to multiple exponentially as the days, weeks, and years unfolded.  Extreme dramas replaying one situation after another. Life ensued cyclically, with short periods of reprieve followed by detrimental rounds of debilitating chaos. 


That became the new normal. Within a twisted chaotic normal, the old normal began to fade away, deep into the background. Moments of normalcy still lurked in corners. Often found where some were grasping to denial, unable to see the reality of the situations through the heartache. 


And as my loved ones progressed into darkness, so did I…………… but it was sneaky, it was cloaked in self-righteousness and a need to over-control all aspects of life. 


At first, I didn’t know or understand the severity of my own need for change and healing (AKA recovery). I knew life belt blah, but mostly I knew others had severe issues. I thought I could give ideas and fix them, and then we could go back to normal again. DAMN……I had such great ideas for ALL the recovery venues and decisions that OTHERS needed to do. I was sure it would fix life for themselves, an in turn, all of us.  


As time progressed, and my brilliant ideas for others’ recovery didn’t work, I began to build up much anger, resentfulness, and rage towards my loved ones. I began to isolate myself from old joys and my community, thus creating deep loneliness. I rarely felt the joy of life anymore, I woke up angry most days, even when the drama was at a lull. The desire for anything that used to bring laughter and delight was lost. My energy constantly drained on the situations that felt heavy and exhausting. 


All I seemed to experience was situational drama incurred by the addiction and my growing physical pain. Though I could not hear my inner voice at all, and I ignored all the signs from my emotional guidance system, I could very clearly hear my physical body screaming out in pain. I had been storing my ill feelings inside my body. It was the agony of my physical body that led me to the realization that maybe I needed help too.  Maybe I needed some tools to heal my negative emotions. Maybe then, my physical body would begin to relax.


As my journey to find my old normal began, I realized that I was just as sick and in need of recovery as my addicted loved ones. And although they might have debilitating addictions to chemical substances, I was just as addicted to behavioral issues. These clouded my ability to connect to the joy of life, listen to my body, or make decisions with any true clarity.


Webester defines recovery as a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength. Unforeseen at the beginning, my recovery has not only been about finding my road back to normal, as Webster defines. It has been finding the  path far beyond normal and into the extraordinary. I now find myself happily blazing right past normal, and comfortably residing within the realm of radical joy.


Join me next week as I start to dive into the WHY behind my main avenues of my healing through YOGA + ADVENTURE + ART.


Are you in need of your own recovery, finding your way back to your own normal state of health, mind, or strength? Are you already on a recovery journey? 


Let’s begin to normalizing the conversation around addiction, together! 


Sending much light + love, 




“We honor ourselves when we speak out for recovery. We show the world that recovery matters because it brings hope and peace into the lives of individuals and their loved ones.” – Beth Wilson

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