For a couple of years now I’ve been thinking of turning adversity into opportunity. I’ve thought long and hard about it and earlier last year I decided that I am going to make my former weakness my new strength. So I have embarked on a life coaching course with the goal being that I will specialise in sobriety coaching. I feel incredibly passionate about this direction my life has taken and as I have started to learn a new skill set as a coach, I realise the massive potential it has in helping people who are battling with addiction. Even in the few months I’ve had a personal coach I have created enormous value for myself through our sessions and when I think back to the early stages of my recovery, I only wish that I’d known then what I know now.
Coaching is empowering and uplifting. It’s about creating sustainable change through positive, self discovery. It’s not about lamenting how you were ignored by your father as a child or picked on by your siblings. What it’s about is staying focused on your present situation and working towards your desired future. It’s not about blame or looking at what past actions have created your situation. Rather it’s about identifying where you are in your life and where you would like to be. It’s about digging deep and finding the answers to all those unanswered questions. And as an addict I am the first to admit that I spent plenty of years ignoring the difficult questions and brushing them under the proverbial rug. Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the rug shifts and thins and those unanswered queries tend to resurface. I honestly believe that my recovery would have been a lot further along by this stage if I’d deemed to address all these challenges and overcome my personal obstacles sooner.
Coaching is not about advice or judgment, but about someone holding a safe personal space for you while you do some honest introspection. And I am continually amazed at the depth of the personal wisdom I have as to how to overcome challenges and move towards my dreams and aspirations. It’s so incredibly uplifting be be on both sides of the coaching process. Because addiction and recovery coaching is a more specialised field than what I am training in at the moment I acknowledge that I am not professionally qualified to work in this area during the practical modules of my course, but I get so excited when I think of how incredibly productive and effective coaching can be in overcoming addiction.
I know I’m an addict, perhaps I even know why I’m an addict, but what really interests me is how to make my life as fulfilling and magical as possible. I want to boldly adventure into my future, unshackled by the chains of my past and coaching gives me that freedom to become an intrepid explorer in my own life. It’s a wonderful, exciting journey and the map isn’t one that someone hands you, but one that you chart yourself. I’ve never really been the type of person who does well when I am being directed and managed. Yet, if I come up with ideas, thoughts and solutions that are mine, I take complete ownership of them and will not rest until I have achieved what I set out to do. I don’t think I’m too different from most people in that respect, because we want to follow through on things that we are comfortable with within our own set of personal values, norms and beliefs. Being told what to do, more often than not, brings out the petulant child in most of us and we seem to self-sabotage what might actually have served us well.
However, left to decide on our own course of action we are far more intent on being successful in our endeavour. And what an endeavour the quest for sobriety is. It’s incredibly scary at times, especially in the small hours of the morning when you feel like you are the only person in the world that is awake. At those times when you are gripped with anxiety as you try to kill the physical cravings for the release that alcohol offers from reality. But oh, it’s so incredible when, as the sun rises, you look forward to the horizon there is nothing more exciting than the possibilities that lie ahead. Yes, there are dark days as you crawl through thick forests of doubt and trudge through sludgy marshes of unexplained fear. But the more adept you get at charting your course, with the knapsack of personal coping mechanisms you gather, the more incredible the journey becomes. I feel like I spent the first years of my sobriety merely stumbling along, but I can honestly say that if I knew then what I know now, I would have found a way to spend time with a sober coach.
Like I said in one of my more recent posts, there is something (or a combination thereof) for everyone on their road to recovery, but nothing beats personal empowerment and honest self discovery.
‘Til next time