In the dictionary recovery means “The act of returning to normal”. However, anyone who has embarked on a path of recovery from addiction might tell you that 1. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ and 2. Returning to normal is impossible.
What is normal in the first place? Were you normal to begin with? Who’s definition of normal are we talking about?
I propose instead to call the process of healing from addiction as one of restoration, which according to the dictionary means “The act of making new”. The path of sobriety is one in which one’s world view, lifestyle and habits must change, be made new. The old ways don’t work any more. It is time for restoration.
Just as we use the term ‘restoration’ for healing environmental devastation, the recovering individual must take on the path of restoring their habitat, their self-worth, their perception of the world.
This is what I have found walking on this journey, my life absent of alcohol. I knew it was time to change when drinking ceased to be something casual and social. It had started to become a habit. A habit that started to turn self-destructive and impacted all my relationships in some way, most of all, my relationship with myself.
I was tired of drinking to feel good, reduce anxiety, relieve boredom, blur reality, give me energy, put me to sleep, make me feel confident, etc., etc. etc.
I had tried to moderate my consumption over the years, even joining and later facilitating a Moderation Management group, a support system for attempting to control drinking.
But if you are prone to addiction, whether that be through genetics or culture or both, there is no control. It is an illusion.
I can only speak for myself, but getting involved in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous has provided both a program and source of support to to restore my world and my life to sanity.
I’ll write about this in another blog, but taking the step of attending the first meeting was huge for me because I had to finally admit the truth of my habit. I am happy I didn’t have enter AA under any legal circumstance because going into the program voluntarily keeps me honest in this work of restoration.
Each day is now one in which I evaluate my choices, my decisions, my thoughts. Making new ones instead of old ones that were leading me down a path I didn’t want to go. New growth can occur from this restoration and with new growth comes transformation and release from what no longer honored me.
Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey