I’m calling this A Starting Line because of what I have experienced in recovery. It represents a starting line for everybody because everyone is in recovery from something. Substance or alcohol abuse, a traumatic experience as a child or an adult… I even have friends that joke about being recovering Catholics. They all have common elements.
Whether an isolated traumatic incident or a longer period of time that we have lived with certain behaviors, they all have some common elements. Shame, a feeling of inadequacy, and fear. They all create a separation from others and more importantly a separation from ourselves.
Let’s look at our shame. We are told by society to “grow-up” and control our situations. Be forceful and control this thing. When we fail at these endeavors we are rarely treated with a helping hand but more likely shunned and made to feel much less than adequate. The most destructive forces usually coming from within our own mind. Telling us we are a failure. Even when others may try to lift us up, the weight of our own opinion, our beliefs about ourselves, can weigh us down.
Upon arriving at what addicts or alcoholics call a bottom, that point of desperation where the realization is made that something has to change. The realization that the situation has become unmanageable with the way we have been doing things. The feeling is if I can “just get sober”. If I can “just get clean”. If I can “just lose this anxiety” that is eating away at me. We look forward to that as the finish line.
Many people are able to stop using or stop drinking or bury some problem/experience deep enough that they can function without visible dependencies. Very often we have seen “dry drunks”. Those who don’t drink or use because they have realized they cannot without paying a high price, but have not embraced what being clean and sober means. The same is true of other issues and those that have learned to “suck it up” and carry on. Very often they are miserable. Maybe not outwardly, but almost certainly on the inside.
People in 12 step programs will say they are not “working the steps” or they don’t have a “program”. Religious believers will say they haven’t accepted God in their lives. Psychologists will say any number of things depending on which school of thought they ascribe to. The beauty of it is they are all right. Maybe just not the way they mean it.
It is most certainly bigger than any one thing. The fact is just as everyone has a unique set of problems and they also carry their own unique solutions. Each person holds the map to their success inside just as their DNA holds all the information to create the body.
Our sub-conscious, our larger Self, our untapped resources by any name are there. There are common elements to all of us and very unique features too. So is our path to fulfillment and happiness. This is why it is A Starting Line not The Starting Line. You create it. You hold the true key to your own fulfillment.
The realization after one gets help is that getting help, getting clean, getting sober and facing “what it is” in ourselves, is not the finish line at all. It is indeed a starting line. We can now live a life that is full and rewarding. We can be truly honest with ourselves and other people. We can live openly and transparently. Truly free.
You are in the right place. If you are struggling and need recovery. If you have begun a path of recovery or have been walking it for some time. If you find you are pretty comfortable but have a sense there is something more. Wherever you find yourself on your journey, my intent is to present some ideas that may help you define your Starting Line. To access your map, that holds your pathway, to your solutions.Share