...and Why Do I Need It?
If you're like me, when addiction first started affecting your family some of your first thoughts may have gone something like this:
He/she needs to stop drinking/using.
I don't understand why he/she can't stop.
There has to be something I can do make him/her quit drinking/using.
If he/she loved me he/she would stop drinking/using.
He/she needs to get help or I’m done!
While these are all valid thoughts, they are focusing on the alcoholic/addict and his/her behavior. For now, I want us to focus on us.
While living in a dysfunctional or alcoholic household, it is rare for us to spend any time thinking or focusing on us. Am I right? We tend to spend the majority of our time focusing on the alcoholic or how to fix the alcoholic. Here's the cold, hard truth. Are you ready?
We cannot fix anyone. Period.
Here are some things to keep in mind as we begin talking about recovery for us.
We didn't cause the Alcoholic to drink, the addict to use, or the actions of the dysfunctional person.
We cannot change the alcoholic, addict, or dysfunctional person.
We cannot control the alcoholic, addict, or dysfunctional person.
These things are not in our power. By now you may be asking yourself another question: If I didn't cause it, I can't change, it, and I can't control it—what in the heck can I do? The answer to this question is not an easy one to share but bear with me. It is vital that you keep reading, even if your blood is boiling at the thought of what I am saying here.
The ONE thing you can do is fix you!
That's right. I said you need fixing. Now before you stop reading, please know I’m not bossing you around. I’m not trying to tell you what to do or control you. Not at all! I'm the same as you. Broken. We are all a little broken and need fixing. I was just like you. I wasn't sure what I needed to fix or how to go about it. That's when I discovered recovery.
What is recovery?
There are many types of recovery programs available for people like us.
People who have tried to control people, situations, and outcomes.
People who look to other things to fill the emptiness inside.
People raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional household.
People who don't know what else to do.
Recovery is a place-either in person or online-where people like us come together to share similar experiences and encourage each other. Recovery is also a program of 12 steps modeled after the same steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. These steps, when studied and worked through, help us better understand how to live with our circumstances the way they are—whether the alcoholic is drinking or not. These recovery programs provide valuable tools for living with addiction or dysfunction at home. These programs also provide tools to apply to our daily lives. These tools, when applied, give us serenity in this chaos filled world.
Why do I need recovery?
What a great question. If you can honestly make any of the statements below, then recovery is for you.
I grew up in a home with an Alcoholic / addicted / dysfunctional parent
I currently live with an alcoholic /addicted / dysfunctional spouse
My mind is a maze of confusion most of the time because of the alcoholic/addict/dysfunctional person in my life.
I know I am missing something but I just don't know what it is.
I believe I can fix my problems myself.
I don't know what else to do and I am at the end of my rope with my situation.
So how did you do? Did you relate to any of these statements? I know I did. Thankfully, I found a recovery program. As a result, my life is more manageable and I have the tools I need to deal better with not only the addicts/dysfunctional people in my life but also with other areas as well. If you are still not sure if recovery is right for you, you can take this brief quiz to find out.