Updated: Jun 11, 2020
As I near the silver anniversary of my sobriety from alcohol and substances, I look back at what recovery means to me. I have recovered from not only a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body from my addictions, but also from the pain of trauma. I have recovered from dating violence as a teenager that left me with broken bones and a broken spirit. I have recovered from a brutal attack in my first year of sobriety that left me paralyzed with fear, doubting strangers and even acquaintances. I’ve recovered from the grief of losing too many people, far too soon.
For me, my recovery began with the 12 steps and is my foundation. But what I've learned along the way is the importance of connection. It wasn't even until my fifth year of sobriety that I learned to let people into my life, especially women. At that time, I got divorced and realized that I had built my life around one human and when he left, I didn't have a support system, other than meetings. I had to learn to open myself up to the possibility of friendships with women, which meant finding willingness to become vulnerable. That's when everything changed for me. The women I have found are now my rock, and they gave me the opportunity to be a friend to them as well. My life is full today.
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