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Sharing Our Stories in Recovery

Our lived experiences and the stories we have to tell are reflections of who we are and how far we’ve come in our recovery. When we tell our stories, we benefit our own healing and that of the people around us, other recovering addicts who can be comforted and uplifted by our words. Oftentimes while we were still embroiled in our addictive patterns, we didn’t feel strong enough within ourselves to tell our stories yet. We didn’t feel connected enough to our inner selves or our emotions. We still felt weak, incapable of recovering, and powerless to make changes in our lives. We still felt like we weren’t good enough. We still had a lot of healing work to do. We might not have begun to lay the foundation of our recovery work yet.

Sometimes when in treatment, we feel safe enough to share our stories for the first time, because we’re now surrounded by other recovering addicts in a supportive, welcoming, inclusive environment. We feel encouraged to share who we are. We’re in a place that is not only conducive to our sobriety, it supports and reinforces it, increasing our progress and enabling us to create changes for ourselves that we might not have been able to make when we were struggling to get sober alone. This support and sense of safety makes us feel more comfortable with the idea of opening up and sharing our stories. We’re surrounded by other people who understand us and our experiences, who can relate and empathize. We’re met with compassion, acceptance and validation, where before we might have felt judged, rejected and shunned. We finally see firsthand that we’re not alone. We see that our stories reflect those of many others, and that many of our struggles and challenges are in fact quite similar. Within our stories are the joys and pains we share in common.

We form deep bonds with others when we share our stories. We open up parts of ourselves that we’ve kept hidden and suppressed for much of our lives. We’re allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. By sharing our stories, we’re facing our fears of being judged or criticized, and we’re showing up for ourselves, believing in ourselves, and affirming our worth. We no longer need to hide in the shadows, keeping the stories of our struggles a secret from everyone in our lives. We no longer have to deny who we are or what we’re going through. We don’t have to be silent in the face of our deep pain anymore. We don’t have to feel as though we’re not good enough because we’re addicts. We can feel confident about who we are, the lives we’ve lived, and what we’re capable of moving forward. We can believe in our own strength, our worth, and our power.

Sharing our stories is an affirming, empowering, uplifting process. We feel transformed as we share of ourselves. We feel healed. We feel like this deep pain that has been consuming us is no longer able to overpower and overtake us. We feel like we’re reclaiming our power, taking it back from the people who silenced us. Perhaps even more importantly, we’re reclaiming our power from the shame that we allowed to silence us. We were so ashamed of ourselves and our addictions that we felt we had to keep certain parts of us hidden from view. We can now let them out and let them in the light. We can be proud of ourselves for our recovery. We no longer have to inundate ourselves with shame for all the ways in which we perceive ourselves to be inadequate. We no longer have to feel like we’re not doing enough, not working hard enough, not trying hard enough to get better, because now we are doing all of that and more. We’re exceeding our own expectations in our recovery, and those other people might have held for us. We’re proving any disbelievers wrong. We’re transcending our limitations. The confidence we develop as a result is reflected in the stories we share. It’s reflected in our increased sense of self-worth and our improved self-esteem. It’s reflected in the way we shine, the way we’re able and willing to share of ourselves, instead of retreating inward and cowering from view, out of fear and shame. We’re embracing ourselves. We’re loving ourselves, and now we can finally tell our stories.

When we share our stories, we empower not only ourselves but also the people around us. We’re telling ourselves, and them, that recovery is possible, that we are not the sum of our mistakes and regrets, that we are strong enough, capable enough, brave enough to do what’s best for us. It took us a long time to get here. Our stories are full of the winding roads of our experiences, our traumas and losses, our pain and struggles. They are also full of our redemption and joy, our newfound fulfillment and inner peace, the rediscovery of purpose and meaning in our lives. We’re more aligned with our inner selves than ever before. We’re fully accepting of all our parts, including the ones we might have been rejecting and suppressing out of shame or fear of judgment and rejection. We can now share our stories proudly, not just as addicts but as recovering addicts. We can be proud of ourselves and all the hard work we’ve done, all the transformation we’ve undergone.

When we share our stories, we give other people hope when they might need it most. We uplift them in moments when they’re feeling powerless, insecure, weak and afraid. We inspire them. We motivate them. We show them our perseverance and encourage them to nurture theirs. We show them that with commitment and dedication, recovery is not only possible, it’s better and more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.

The Guest House Ocala provides unparalleled, premier-quality treatment to those who suffer from self-defeating behaviors brought on by trauma and its underlying issues. We are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety or depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.