The work of recovery from alcohol or drug addiction is a very challenging one. The use and abuse of substances causes the person to loose touch with him or herself. This numbing may be a coping mechanism to deal: with feelings, with confusing inner messages, with the fearful unknown, with the mistreatment of parents or partners, and other hurtful and challenging experiences. Once numb it takes more use to keep the person that way.
Once the decision is made to try and break the cycle of such self-destruction, there needs to be a defrosting of sorts. The mind needs to be brought back from its foggy state. The body must release the grip of the destroying substance. The heart must thaw out from the frigid winter of withdrawal. The soul must be contacted to once again tune into the journey you came in this life to travel. Also there needs to be some way to forgive yourself and find acceptance of who you are again. This being OK with self is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish both because of the substance abuse and the difficult childhood most have had.
As these aspects of self are rediscovered, one can start to rebuild the burned out basement of his/her life and their sense of self. This rebuilding is long and is best done with the help of others as mentors along the way. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous) are support groups for those in recovery. There are AA meetings in every community so encouragement and compassion is available. This network of others in recovery is unlike any other support/get healthy system in the world. There are no fees and few rules and no primary care people or gatekeepers. There are peoples with clean time and people willing to act as sponsors. There is a 12 step program that when worked can be transformative. Wouldn’t it be nice for all people to have this free brother/sisterhood of people who want to help us be healthy?
Maybe we need to have PA (People’s Anonymous) meetings for us who just want to have support as we struggle with the challenges of life. Wouldn’t it be nice to be traveling for business, on vacation or just to get away and having a place to go to meet others who care about us doing well, who want to give us support and encouragement so that we can find joy that day. Maybe it should be called JA (Joy Anonymous).
As a counselor with many years experience, I sometimes wish there were nightly meeting in my community for support of my work, of my writing, of my life’s roadblocks. Or maybe we can just keep an eye open for each other and reach out for those in need and give some help. What do you think?
Support and encouragement are wonderful gifts we can always give each other. Acceptance is another gift worth giving. What gifts can you give today?