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Brutal honesty about recovery

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

It’s a rare person that will give you their truth (more than simply an opinion) in no uncertain terms. I’ve learned that the best service I can provide to people like me is to point out self-deception (denial, rationalizations, justifications and minimizations).

I don’t profess that my truth is THE truth. As someone who has spent a lot of time bearing witness to suffering, struggling, and transformation, I can share some observations that I’ve made countless times:

  1. 9 times out of ten, when we profess to be “confused” or as needing to “figure it out”, its bullshit. We know the truth and we hate it.

  2. We go looking for softer/gentler ways because the changes required in recovery seem overwhelming.

  3. Too many of us are looking for different endings to the same story.

  4. The most common story is a love affair with the latest version of our past abuser

  5. Maintaining a focus on the past is sometimes a way to avoid moving forward.

  6. Desperation is beautiful and a game changer.

  7. Moving forward most often occurs when we can’t stand it one more minute and accept the necessity of working hard to change our lives.

  8. Hard work truly is good for the soul, as is service work and volunteerism.

  9. We can’t wait until it feels comfortable to do what needs to be done.

  10. Saying that we don’t want to burden others or impose upon them is self-deception. The truth is we’re afraid to ask, afraid to share our pain, and often feel unworthy of support.

I preach the Keep It Simple System (K.I.S.S.). Simplicity provides clarity and clear courses of action. It also casts light upon emotional scars and unmet needs. Recovery is about need fulfillment. It’s not about what you want. Needs come first, wants come later.

Many aspects of recovery are painful to go through. They require facing fear, admitting faults, and seeking support. Anyone who says otherwise is selling you something. I can, however, promise you that it’s worth it and that you’re worth it.

Recovery cannot be done alone. Some people stay sober/clean alone and most remain relatively miserable. Recovery is a process of transformation – of becoming something greater.

There are many pathways to recovery. There are no wrong choices, but whichever path you choose, you then must walk it and ultimately, live it.

Recovery is not only a process. It is a lifestyle.

The good news is that nobody is having more fun, receiving more joy, and authentically experiencing more love than those of us who were helped out of hell and today are helping others find their way into a better life.

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