September is National Recovery Month. I often find myself struggling with the word recovery. I’ve been to the dictionary for a definition. It talks of a return to a normal state or the process of regaining something stolen or lost. I guess my struggle with the word is that it assumes that I was once in a “normal state”, and I am attempting to return to it. People that have known me for any amount of time at all would say that the word normal is not what would come to mind when they think of me.
I’m not here today to try to say that my life has sucked or even that a large portion of it has been worse than yours. What I know though, is that somewhere in my childhood I picked up some unhealthy coping tools. My therapist says that I have operated from an Avoidant Attachment Style. From what I’ve learned in recent years I would say that that concept describes my behavior well. I won’t get into a discussion on Attachment Theory today, but I can tell you that I learned at a young age not to trust others or rely on others for help. I decided to keep other people at arm’s length and not to get too close to anyone. I believed that the best way to not get hurt was to shut down emotionally, not to feel or care. I think this approach appeared to work well for me for a time, but it was so unhealthy in the long term. This approach to life led to a divorce and broken relationships with some of my children. It led to addiction as I tried to numb myself to the pain of emotions that were uncomfortable and that I didn’t know how to process. And long-term friendships and relationships just didn’t exist.
So how does this tie into National Recovery Month and my struggle with the word recovery? Well, reconciliation with the term recovery has come through my understanding of God. You may choose to call him “higher power”. I choose to call him Jesus. My idea of recovery doesn’t refer to a state that I have experienced before, but a state that I was created to experience. A state that consists of a sound mind and a healthy state of being that I was created to experience. I am learning to identify and process feelings instead of running from them and looking for ways to numb myself. I am identifying a purpose in life. I am experiencing a restoration of relationships. I think what I am really experiencing these last several years is life. And what I am learning is that life is hard, but it is so good!
So, have I said that September is National Recovery Month? Maybe you can remember a state of mind and being that you would like to get back to. Maybe, like me, you don’t have a place you want to get back to, maybe it’s time to learn to experience life for the first time, life as you were created to experience it. I can’t think of a better month, a better day, a better second than right now to begin to experience recovery. If you need help getting started, shoot me an email. We can talk. Rwcoaching2@gmail.com.