When I first began my journey into sobriety I was extremely uncomfortable with words like recovery, alcoholic, sobriety, and addiction. I didn’t know if they accurately described me, I didn’t want them to define me, and I definitely didn’t want to be categorized as “other.” All I really wanted was to stop doing the thing that was causing me distress without any fanfare. I certainly didn’t see recovery becoming my life’s work, and yet here I am….
Many people looked at my drinking habits and consider them to be more “normal” than “alcoholic.” This is true of MANY people in recovery, however just because something is considered normal, does not mean that it’s good or healthy. One of the guiding principles of She Recovers is that we DON’T need to hit rock bottom to pursue recovery in any area of our lives. As my journey away from using substances continued, this became self-evident. I slowly and (mostly) mindfully began peeling back the layers of my life and examining what was underneath. I looked at my relationship with food, fitness, romance, friends, family, social media, finances, and career just to name a few. I have worked hard to make changes, and I continue to learn, grow, and make changes daily. I consider myself a work in progress, and I assume this work will continue for the rest of my life.
What I’ve realized is that struggling with alcohol use to any extent, big or small (or drug use, or food addiction, sex addiction, love addiction, whatever addiction) does not make me (or you or him or her) an “other” at all. RECOVERING is something that every human does every day on some level or another. Not only that, but to come full circle, this thing that I thought made me SEPARATE was actually the thing that made me HUMAN and by trying to hide it I was actually severing my ties to humanity. I have no regrets about where I’ve been because it’s brought me to where I am right now and I’m eternally grateful for every lesson learned. September is National Recovery Month. I’m sharing this to do my part in ending the shame and stigma surrounding addiction and to give a face to recovery. And a big thank you to Hip Sobriety Laura McKowen Dawn Nickel Taryn Strong Annie Grace and many others for getting this conversation started.