Recovery Blog Post-Stephanie

The quote by Maya Angelou, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give”, is how I can best describe the landscape of my recovery walk. 

I had always considered myself an alcohol abuser, not an alcoholic. After all, I was able to stop drinking alcohol completely from the age of 27-34. How could I possibly be a person with a substance use disorder?

 But at age 34 one sip of beer on a sunny afternoon was like gas thrown on burning embers. My addiction took over like a forest fire much like the ones from Canada that recently polluted the air in the Northeast. Binge drinking episodes and countless attempts at modified drinking became routine. My addiction became like a raging inferno destroying everything in its path including me. Nine years later at the age of 43, I walked into an AA meeting and took a seat. Although now I study and practice other forms of recovery, I always stay tethered to my mothership of AA. The very foundation on which my recovery was first built.

Lately, I haven’t focused on my date of sobriety or how many days I have been sober and that is a personal decision. Instead, I focus on what I must do today to take care of myself. What I still need to accomplish and what I still need to learn and do. Ok, so I have some time behind me but hopefully, there’s a lot more of it in front of me. So how will I make the most of it? 

What I’ve learned, I teach. My own personal experience with addiction was the catalyst for my work as a recovery coach and education as a mental health professional. I walk the path of recovery with individuals who aren’t familiar with the way. I’ve learned the twists and turns and pitfalls of the road myself, so I share this knowledge with others.  I consistently work on gaining more skills and information through education to serve those who need it. I learned that I cannot do recovery alone. I learned the importance of a sober community so that others can illuminate my path. I’ve learned self-care and self-compassion can be remarkable companions to discipline and resilience. I learned that they all need to be in balance for sustainable recovery. 

I’ve learned that mental and physical health are equally important and need to be tended to.  

Most importantly I’ve learned, never, ever give up on recovery! No matter what!  

When I get, I give. It is my hope that my experience, skills and knowledge can be used to help create solutions and possibilities for someone who is struggling.  I do believe I was gifted with my addiction. I do believe that I am supposed to do with that gift what I can to serve a purpose. 

My personal experience with years of struggling with addiction was just the crappy wrapping of the gift that was presented to me. The real gift was inside, the intention, motivation, and responsibility, to share with others as we explore a new beginning and a new frontier of the experience of living in recovery.

Thank you,

Stephanie Weiss