The beginning of a year is such a wonderful time, full of promise and possibility. And as the first of January dawns I celebrate another year of recovery! This year was seven and as the years unfold each one just seems to get better. Of course there have been tough times, traumatic experiences and challenging obstacles, but when I look back on how my life has changed over this time, it is richer and happier in so many ways. The relationships in my life are deeper and more meaningful than anything I had experienced up until my mid-thirties. There is an honesty and authenticity that I never believed possible, and this goes for my personal and professional interactions. I live congruently, knowing that my life is enriched by strong, truthful exchanges and that everyday I am living my purpose.
But getting to this point in my life has taken time! It didn’t happen over night and it certainly didn’t occur through some miraculous wand waving!! Because living authentic purpose to anything takes personal commitment and grit. I’d love to say that there is an easy option when it comes to building a life that is rich and rewarding, but I’d be lying. It takes hard work, determination and a kick-ass attitude. And a whole lot of trial and error! Just because your best friend turned their life around by listening to self development podcasts and your favourite relative found spiritual truth by reading certain books, doesn’t mean that they will necessarily work for you. I believe that there is a unique combination that works for each of us and that mix is as individual as our substance abuse and recovery journey. I tried the 12-step program and it wasn’t for me, but I didn’t disregard it until I had given it a shot!
I often hear people talking about how “That won’t work for me!” and I am not just talking about the fellowships of AA, NA, SA and GA. There is really no telling what our personal journey might be made up of. Perhaps it’s an inpatient program, followed by a series of coaching sessions and the works of a modern-day spiritualist or two. Maybe it’s a regime of yoga, meditation and time spent “In The Rooms“. For someone else it might be therapy and medically-aided recovery. No one has figured out a plan that works for everyone, because as I have mentioned before there is no cookie-cutter approach to recovery. What is for certain is that it takes time and effort to heal, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually, and there is no quick-fix to recovery. It’s a mutli-faceted life event that requires education and knowledge to create a better understanding of our disorder and ourselves. The greatest gift that recovery has brought to me is getting to know myself on a deep, personal level, free of the BS and lies that were so prevalent during my active addiction. There have been so many wonderful things I have discovered about myself and the people in my life that I never knew before.
Mainly because I was just not bothered to look, but also because I was scared of what I might find. The truth is that I haven’t met a single person who is less likable in recovery than they were in the grips of substance abuse. Stripped bare of the effects of destructive behaviours and substances, I have truly met some of the most incredible people that life has to offer. And watching people blossom as they find wellness is a remarkable metamorphosis to behold. Seeing the light return to others’ lives is what makes the coaching work I do so incredibly rewarding and walking besides people as they rediscover their personal truth and purpose is a universal blessing. So as I reflect on my personal journey which has led me to the Recovery Coaching work that I do, I begin 2015 extremely grateful for how far I have come, firm in the knowledge that life is an incredible adventure better lived with a clear head and an honest heart.
Til next time