Sunday, June 22, 2014

Letter to Addiction from a Mother of an Alcoholic

My name is Mark and I'm an Alcoholic... 

The statement "I'm ________ and I'm an Alcoholic" is a powerful and direct statement.  

I wonder the reaction I would get from people if I yelled that in all the places I visit on a daily basis, including my driveway.  Heck, maybe I should shout it out the next time I am in a faculty meeting at work.  I am not sure that I would have to use the words "My name is Mark", but give "I'm an alcoholic" a holler, since they all know my first name. 

There isn't any way to avoid having some type of emotional response when saying those words because of the negative stigma society has placed on it.  The emotional responses vary from person to person and usually transforms over time. It gives people a physical and psychological sense of fear, anxiousness, anger, confusion and for others it will give a sense of pride, security, fellowship, peace and serenity. 

One of the most vital realizations I've experienced in my 40 months of active recovery, is the tremendous parallel in addiction disorder, how people are given the same tools to sustain recovery and how those people use the tools differently to maintain their freedom from addiction. 

Getting professional help, generalizing and applying the new methodology, skills and tools I learned from treatment professionals and research is still critical to my success in maintaining active recovery.  I have received professional help at both Hazelden and La Hacienda Treatment Centers. Those are examples of reputable treatment programs that will provide you with the tools you need and if you choose to accept them, it help you with life-long recovery from the chronic disease of addiction. The road of recovery is built with team-work, intense effort, focus, desire, motivation, hard work, acceptance of the disease, assistance from addiction treatment professionals, accepting help from others, taking care of your mental / physical conditions and providing service to others (when the time is right).  

At Hazelden, one of the first tasks I was required to complete was to write a letter to my addiction.  My mother was also required to write a letter to addiction when she participated in the highly valued family program at Hazelden.

Writing these letter's to addiction was a life-changing experience and one that I will never forget. I am blessed by my Higher Power, Family, Friends, Recovery and Health.

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