My feeling was both excited but also terrified. Having recently completed some recovery training Naetha & Calliese they asked if I would write a guest blog for their website. Oh my god what do I do, they will know I am a fraud etc. So, in order to build myself up to writing this, I had to suffer anxiety, worry and an upset tummy before any plan of writing could be done.
So here goes…
My name is Paul and I am an alcoholic. I attend AA so my long-term recovery means working a 12-step recovery program based around honesty, truth and respect for yourself and others around you. Just to say that is a massive miracle that at one time would have filled me with dread.
Often when we are in the full-blown vortex of addiction all we see is the overriding need to fill the whole that’s inside of ourselves regardless to the cost of others and ourselves. Someone once told me that we take hostage the people we love. That was defiantly my profile. I was aware of the effect of my addiction; it was not only destroying me but the love from my wife and family who wanted to understand why Dr. Jeckle was losing control to Mr. Hyde.
By the time I first went into rehab my drinking was full blown 24 hrs 7days a week. Although I would have to go into rehab a few more times, I believe that’s when the little sobriety seed was planted and my drinking would never be the same again.
Many years prior to my decent into madness I was admitted to hospital as my pancreas had died completely and was leaking toxins which was killing me. The Drs told my wife that after 12 hours of surgery if I saw the night though I may live. I did live but I spent 3 months in a coma and had to learn how to walk and talk again. They said if he ever drinks again, he will die and he is only going to live probably 10 years maximum anyway.
Now I say this not for pity or for that “you have done well” kind of sympathy, I say this because logically you would think that any normal person would do as suggested and never drink. But I did and my drinking got worse not better. In fact, another 7 years at least. This is the insanity of addiction the part where everyone around you looks in disbelief at your insanity. To the addict themselves it is no surprise, not really because before the continuation of this devastating illness we have already planned our next fix even if we don’t believe it ourselves.
This all said sounds like there is no help for the addict, that our chances for survival are grim. In fact, the scientists who breakdown people into percentages or numbers would say less than 20 percent will relapse into addiction and die.
To me this is the miracle of recovery, in my case the miracle of my AA program to take these small numbers of success and turn them from hopelessness to a strong hopeful recovery path that will not only give me sanity but love and the chance to enjoy the opportunity we have been given in life against the odds.
There will always be those out in the world who don’t believe recovery is truly possible, a leopard can’t change his spots thinking, but certainly from my own recovery and being part of the recovery of others suggests to me that this thinking isn’t true. Just because recovery cannot be measured by facts and figures or quantified in anyway doesn’t mean there is not a way of living that if practised on a daily basis will give us a life beyond our own imagination.
For me the fact that addiction cannot be cured per say no longer fills me with dread. I have realised no illness or disability should ever define us, I am more than: “Paul the drinker” or “Paul the diabetic” or “Paul the user.”
We are people often, sensitive and clever that for some reason have struggled to become the people we want to be and not what others think we should be.
So, in conclusion, to me miracles are not bread and fishes to feed the people or my personal favourite water into wine (honestly, where was that one when I needed it!) Sorry a little deviation there. Yes, miracles for me are the ones that give people hope in life, that give us acceptance of who we are and most of all love and respect. Recovery gives us this but only if we want it and all that it provides.
I hope this gives a little bit of hope to anyone who reads it and that I might be able to share things with you in your journey of recovery and learning to be a recovery coach.
*Recovery Coach Academy is about community, Paul is part of our Community and we want to support him as he shares his CREDIBLE LIFE EXPERIENCE and explores his love for writing! Please support us in supporting him!