ll Forms of Recovery
Recovery will never be how we've envisioned it at the beginning of our journey. Once that fact becomes a reality, we start to believe we're special, because our past experiences feel different than everyone else's. We must be wary of that. Addiction shouldn't define us, and it certainly shouldn't make us feel any different than anyone else, especially to those struggling with the same disease. But I consider us to be the lucky ones. We face struggles in one form or another, but those recovering can count on each other and the program. We have meetings, inpatient and outpatient treatments, online meetings, and hotlines for those who have no other way of connecting. In an emergency, I can easily name ten people that will pick up the phone if I wanted to use. I always say this, but as human beings, it's natural to face a lifelong battle, whether it's an addiction, or otherwise. I firmly believe God gives us an inevitable conflict so that we can face it and grow into whom we were always born to be. Our addiction has a purpose. Some have cancer, and some lose loved ones; some grew up with the worst family, and some tend to struggle more internally, but we're all the same! It's humbling to be reminded of our humanity, and that we are just like everyone else because we're not special!
I am nowhere near implying we lack uniqueness as individuals, but when it comes to our addiction, our feelings are the same regardless of the trauma behind them. Many of us may not have gone through the same tragedies in life, but we've all experienced those feelings. Society doesn't realize how lucky we are in recovery because we have solutions to our chronic misbehavior and using. We come out on the other side, a better person. That's what the program is all about. The first step is the only step that involves drugs or alcohol. The rest is about improving your life, habits, and helps you to transition back into society. It's a spiritual awakening, and it wouldn't hurt to have regular people try it out themselves. The bulk of whoever's sitting in that meeting seeks the same thing you do, which is to connect, get better, and stay clean. We're blessed to have a fellowship where we can go and discuss our daily conflicts. We are not dissimilar from the "normies" of the world. We are more than the everyday demons we fight off because we're not the only ones fighting inner-demons, regardless of the public stigma placed on us.
The exciting component about recovery is that there are multiple alternative communities for us to try. Celebrate Recovery is a 12-Step Program that focuses on religion if that's more effective to you. SMART recovery focuses more on independence, or self-management that gives the individual a chance to recover on their own and has more of a personal therapeutic vibe. Here are some more options for you to explore:
12-Step Program and AA/NA Alternatives:
SMART Recovery: Smart Management and Recovery Training focuses on empowering the individual to sustain recovery. Its strategy is on self-management, self-empowerment, and independence.
Celebrate Recovery - 12-Step Program based on religion "Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind."
LifeRing: This secular group provides a strong network of peers focused on remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol. Self-help method.
Women for Sobriety (WFS): This nonprofit, abstinence-based program made up of women supporting each other in recovery.
SOS. (Secular Organizations for Sobriety): This nonprofit network is made up of secular recovery-based groups.
Moderation Management (MM): This program is not based on abstinence but instead on learning how to moderate and control problem drinking behaviors.
We are not unique, but we are individuals who deserve respect and love. You can get that when you join a community of peers. We are lucky to have these resources available to us. Our addiction has a purpose, and that purpose depends on what you decide to do with your recovery. My outlet is helping others and sharing my views on the subject of addiction because there isn't just one opinion or one way to stay clean. Find out what works for you and run with it!
The one thing I'd like for people with addiction to take from this is we may be addicts/alcoholics, but we are strong, and we are not alone in this. We are not any different from the next person struggling with a personal demon. We are all worth it to be a part of this world. Our pasts may not be the same, but our journey to succeed and feel our emotions along the way is what makes us just like everyone else. Society is where we belong, and I'm speaking specifically to anyone who may be reading this.