I have received a ton of positive and uplifting feedback in reference to the “guest posts/shares” section of this blog.
I really wanted to take a second say thank you, and share my thoughts on why its important to share our stories as people who are living in recovery from drugs and alcohol.
Among all of the unanswered questions and despite all of the conflicting scientific research that we have regarding the origin of addiction,
there are some simple, general things that we do know and can agree on when it comes to helping others who struggle with addiction or early recovery.
Without getting too detailed…
Here are a few things that we know:
*We know that we cannot ‘save’ other people.
*We have come to accept & understand that we cannot ‘change’ other people.
*We are aware of the fact that people have to do the work themselves for lasting change to occur.
*We are not responsible for the progress (or lack of) in anyone else’s journey.
*We can pray for them.
*We can befriend people who struggle; treat them ethically (ya know like other humans)- with fairness, respect, and dignity.
*We can support them by listening or being there for them in other simple ways (that are in within the limits of our personal boundaries.)
*We can encourage them to keep going.
*We can choose to recover out loud.
That is what this post is about.
What exactly does it mean to recover “out loud”?
It actually sounds pretty scary to a lot of people.
But it’s really just another tool that we the option to utilize
as people who are living healthy lives in recovery.
It basically means that you are sharing your story- in some capacity,
in hopes of helping another human -in some capacity.
It can look different with each person who participates, and can mean a broad range of things.
There are countless ways to participate and it is all up to you when it comes to the details.
It isn’t necessarily shouting out your story to every single person that you bump elbows with. (People in the grocery store, in your apartment elevator, the stairs, on your lunch break etc.)
It doesn’t have to be you standing in front of a large group of people from your local community giving an honest account of all of the mistakes that you have made and what steps you have taken to redeem yourself.
Could it mean those things? Yes.
But it could be that you choose other ways.
-You might not want to share within your local community.
-Maybe you prefer online only.
-Maybe you want to talk with individuals only.
-It could be that you feel most compelled, connected, or comfortable speaking with people of the same sex.
-It may be that you only want to share online as an anonymous person, or under an alias.
-A lot of people’s hands are tied, due to their occupation/job security/career which is completely understandable.
-Others are fear stricken; unable to even imagine what it would be like to be ostracized from within their family, their community, or social circles.
-Many people are completely okay with sharing in a meeting as an anonymous person only,
and have have every intention of keeping it that way.
and that’s all okay.
For whatever reasons that you choose not to share, or however you choose to recover out loud…
I just want you to know that I completely respect your choice and your right to do things your way.
In my opinion, what it looks like to recover out loud
should be just as personal of a road as your road to recovery has been.
It should be a tailored, well-thought out, perfect -for- you kind of thing.
Your version of recovering “out loud” definitely needs to be cohesive and fit with your particular needs, wants, wishes, desires, and overall comfort level.
If you are curious or interested in taking a step toward living a loud recovery- but don’t know where to start or what to do, I would encourage you to take some time and really look at what, if anything, you feel comfortable with.
Start there. Just entertain all of your options. Give it some thought.
Almost everyone I have met in recovery is just bursting at the seams with stories of hope, and everyone has a special story that might be THE story that helps someone.
Remember that you can start super small, you can go at your own pace for as long as you want-
and you can make adjustments at any time, if or when you feel its necessary.
Although we all have different ways of coping,
different ways of relaxing, meditating, recovering, embracing serenity-
and we also completely different ways of recovering “out loud”……..
The IMPACT that we can have on another person is similar:
*We will help another person to hold on and to keep going a little while longer, until they can figure out how to do the next right thing.
*We will all be surprised on how powerful our voices or actions can be in the life of another.
*Our hearts will be forever changed when we step out into a land of vulnerability-
and are met with support, love, and with gratitude from strangers who have been in hiding, who just really needed to hear that they aren’t in fact “the only one’s” ………..
and we truly never know what another person is need of and what they will hear, feel, read, or see that just might encourage them to push through.