Addiction, recovery and growth


Most of the time, I refer to myself as being “In Recovery.” This is an easy way to communicate that I used to be all screwed up on drugs and alcohol, and now, I’m doing better. It’s also a handy little hashtag to use on Twitter when I’m hoping to reach fellow traveler’s who spend time online. Almost all my little online gems contain #Addiction, #Recovery, # Sobriety. Its the secret code we use to find one another, and hopefully, interact and support each other’s efforts to live a fuller life without drugs and alcohol.
But, lately, I’ve been thinking about the language we use. Words have meaning. Behind these buzz words are actual people. Really complicated people. Sometimes really anxious, depressed, confused and addicted people. People like me.
The word “Recovery” implies that we are trying to return to a former state of being. It implies that we were once in a good place, we lost our way, and now we are back on track. We’ve recovered our sense of life’s direction.
But – who of us has honestly lived such a fairy-tale? How many of us really want to reclaim, or recover the life we were living before our addictions got the best of us? In my case, my life was so depressing and painful, that I used drugs and alcohol to escape that reality. When I got high, I went to a warm, safe place. I shut out the noise and the pain. It worked for a while. Until it didn’t, and I found myself addicted to cocaine and alcohol. I never want to recover the life that led me there.
Instead of recovery – we might consider “Growth.” #Growth. I’m not trying to recover the life I once had, I’m learning to grow into my new life – a life with endless potential, love, and purpose.

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