Recovery Lessons ARE Life Lessons

I have heard at times people who want recovery “just to be over.” They want all the hard work to be done and the journey over so they can live their life, and not always fight for recovery. I understand this. In my recovery, when I got sober and started serious recovery from my eating disorders I wanted everyone to just move on, let go, and stop remembering the past. Hell I wanted to forget about the past. I wanted to be done with it. I had struggled for years and was so tired of it. I now had chosen life, so that was it right?

It took me years of learning in IOP, therapy, residential all the tools I needed when I was fighting recovery. I would use those tools occasionally, when I needed to, or needed to show to others I was ok. I also knew what to say to everyone, especially therapy because I KNEW how it worked. I think that worked against me for a while. I was fighting complete surrender, because I was clinging on to the past in small ways.

When we choose to enter recovery, it is hard. We fight daily. But the lessons we learn can and do apply to life! What we are learning in recovery, and what we are fighting for will enhance the life we will live. This is when I like to think of life and recovery as a very dynamic journey. It is about being present, experiencing things, making choices, making mistakes, following new paths, new challenges, risking things, embracing our fears, it really isn’t about the destination. The journey is life.

I have learned a lot in “life” and some aspects were lessons I learned in recovery and applied to life.

Here are a few of my Recovery Lessons:

  • I learned how to communicate and truly hear people.
  • I learned new coping skills, to be a healthy, balanced person
  • I learned about boundaries, and how to voice those to the people around me.
  • I learned that mistakes are PART of the journey
  • I learned how importance self acceptance, self forgiveness, self patience and self care
  • I learned empathy and the difference between giving support and giving advice
  • I learned that feelings are important, and to allow myself to feel, and they will change
  • I learned that ME time makes me a better person in WE time
  • I learned the Should Monster, ED voice, Self shame voice are all bitches.

All of these lessons have been applied to my life. And I still struggle and re-learn a LOT of the lessons over and over, but I am aware of it, catch myself, and stand back up and choose to move forward again. Recovery isn’t just something we have to fight through, it is also a place where we learn new coping skills, learn more about ourselves, about our struggle, and about what we can do to make our lives healthier. I take my life now and apply the tools of recovery to it, and who would have imagined that!!! It is all about perception, maybe thinking about recovery as self discovery, self love, self care, will help lesson the fight to have recovery “done with.” I also promise that the more we commit to the lessons in recovery, the less hard the battle is. When we choose life, and choose to fight, in time, the fight transforms to something we call life. We no longer have to fight, control, and wish the battle was over, because we will have learned and grown in recovery. We will have learned the tools, know how to apply them, and they will seem to occur like second nature.

When you think you want to give up, keep fighting! When you have thoughts of “I wish the fight were over” just remember you are learning lessons along the way that are lessons to apply to life. So remember to take moments to write down the lessons you are learning, because in time, you will be able to look back and be amazed at how far you have come in your journey!!

Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow ~ Albert Einstein

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10 Responses to Recovery Lessons ARE Life Lessons
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John O'Dwyer. John O'Dwyer said: RT @VoiceinRecovery New Post: Recovery Lessons ARE Life Lessons #RecoverWarriors #mhsm #sobriety […]

    • Jenn
      January 18, 2011 | 11:27 pm

      I was just thinking about this topic today actually: how my recovery now is not only about recovery from my eating disorder but learning how to live life and function in today’s society. The lessons I’ve learned and the gifts I’ve been given are ones that I will forever take with me.

  2. KCLAnderson (Karen)
    January 18, 2011 | 4:26 pm

    This is so true…and I’ve experienced the same ting. What I’ve learned about how to give myself a healthy body is true about so many other aspects of life!

    • ViR
      January 18, 2011 | 7:46 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing Karen! It is amazing when we realize all the lessons we learned are useful to life! 🙂

  3. Amy Pershing
    January 18, 2011 | 7:15 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful article! It is inspired and inspiring!
    All the best in your journey, from a fellow traveler!

    Amy Pershing LMSW, ACSW
    Founding Director, The Bodywise Program
    Clinical Director, The Center for Eating Disorders
    Annapolis, MD and Ann Arbor, MI

    • ViR
      January 18, 2011 | 7:45 pm

      Thank you SO much Amy! I LOVE your program!!! Such a wonderful program for so many! Thank you for reading and sharing your voice!

  4. Sarah
    January 19, 2011 | 1:45 am

    Oh how I needed this today. Some days seem more difficult in others and I always thought that I was stubborn and a fighter but it can get exhausting. So thank you for the reminder that the harder I fight the easier recovery will become.

  5. Nina
    January 19, 2011 | 3:47 am

    I have been in recovery since September of 2010 after a decade of disordered eating and 5 years of ednos. Every morning, at each meal, and every night I have that, “I wish recovery would just be over” thought. This post really spoke to me.

  6. Issa
    January 19, 2011 | 8:09 am

    I love this and totally agree. The skills that I learnt in recovery have transformed how I am in the world and my perspective on life. Even though they were learnt in relation to the ED, they have a far wider relevance that I increasingly value. It helps to remember this when it feels like a constant fight, I think. Great post xx

  7. jojo
    January 24, 2011 | 3:37 am

    Just found your site, and I am delighted to discover a kindred spirit to share the road with as I continue my recovery from destructive behavior. I stopped drinking 11 years ago, and have probably heard “…practice these principles in all our affairs…” hundreds upon hundreds of times. Only recently have I understood the implications of that phrase. Thanks for the insight.

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