A Personal Story
Being in recovery from alcoholism is not about alcohol at all. The basis of the whole-person care approach to recovery is about the underlying factors that drove me to use alcohol as a method to cope with life in general. When I began a 12-step program of recovery almost three years ago, I had no idea that I, the whole person, needed healing. Through working with a sponsor and working the steps of the program, I began to unveil all the aspects of my life that were not in order. As I look back and continue in recovery, I see that all of these uncared-for corners of my life were the balled-up messes of my emotional and spiritual problems.
Beginning to understand that I had no control or power over my disease was the first step in spiritual growth, which is the most powerful foundation on which I have built my recovery.
It was almost like the first time Dorothy stepped on that yellow brick road, knowing she needed to go somewhere to get to where she needed to be and not knowing what was to come. My journey had begun.
After getting a spiritual footing, I was able to start dealing with all of the emotional baggage I had carried around for years.
I was able to look at the hurts I had caused and all of the pain. It was not easy and there was a lot of work to do. I did not want to look at all the dark, messy places of my past. The interesting thing is that once I looked at them, I was not in bondage from them any longer. This was an extremely freeing experience.
The basis of the whole-person care approach to recovery allowed me to heal parts of my past so I was able to start living in the here and now.
Now, I am able to actually be present in my life. As this continues, I find that I am making better choices in all aspects of my life. My eating habits have changed, and I have lost almost 20 pounds. When I feel frustrated with a situation in life, I write about it and pray about it. I talk to my sponsor about it. I do not have to go into a downward spiral.
The basis of the whole-person care approach to recovery has taught me that no single factor is the key to freedom from alcoholism. The key to freedom was finding and building a relationship with God so that all of my life could heal.
Living in addiction is a horrific place to be: the hopelessness, the fear, the uncertainty of the nightmare never ending. I learned that it can end. You can have a life outside of addiction if you are willing to work. You can be a whole person again.