One hugely important gift in the journey of addiction and recovery is your story. It will always belong to you, and no one can take it from you. Take time to remember the powerful, painful parts of your life, and reflect on how far you have come. Writing it down, or speaking and sharing it with another person, are opportunities for ownership, truth-telling, and liberation.
Our Story Is:
An Inspiration– Our story can be part of your message, and communicates hope, survival, and endurance. It also shows that recovery is possible and that you have done it. We never truly know how much our story can influence or inspire others, or the tremendous impact our words, experiences, and learnings can have on another person.
A Tool– Our stories can be seen as tools and can be understood as internal resources. Our story can guide our decisions moving forward, connect us to others, and show us what we want and don’t want in our lives moving forward. It can encourage us to guide ourselves with love and courage and to lead ourselves well. Our stories are there to support us if we need it.
A Form of Guidance– Through our experience, we can provide mentorship and guidance, be a role model, and offer support to people who are struggling with issues similar to what we have gone through. We can be there as an ally and advocate for others and can hold safe space for them.
Way to Offer Insight– A lived experience perspective is incredibly powerful. People may be more inclined to share, listen, will feel more understood, and may make better choices if they are connected to someone who knows what they are experiencing. This unique insight can encourage more compassion and understanding and can make such a difference.
(When sharing our story, we can be selective, and don’t owe anyone every detail. Share what’s relevant, and what will truly help the person in need.)
A Powerful Way to– Remind ourselves of how far we have come, and to remember how incredibly strong, determined, and powerful we are. As we reflect on, speak, or share our story, we can stay in awe of ourselves. We can accept acknowledgment and gratitude people express by our sharing, and take the opportunity to say to ourselves, “Yeah, that was me. I did the work to transform and improve my life.” Our story can embolden and empower us.
A Way to Inform Your Work in the World- While there may be some trepidation or fear around sharing our story, it could be highly relevant or extremely valuable if we are moving into a social services position, and are going to be providing recovery coaching, peer support, or join a team of staff at a treatment facility, detox, inpatient/outpatient residency, or other healing centers. Organizations are often seeking individuals with this important lived experience.
If you are unsure how to address gaps in your employment or education, you can decide if you want to address how the time was spent. Share that you were committed to working on you and have taken time to improve your health and well-being. Emphasize what you have learned, where you are now, what you have accomplished, and where you are going.
A Way to Connect With Others– We can ask people in our recovery community, our family, and our friends if they want to tell or share their story (if they aren’t comfortable doing it, that is okay too.) We can listen to the stories of people we admire and love, and can learn from them.
Who are the mentors, leaders, and recovery role models that inspire us?
What are the parts of their lives that inspired or moved you? Storytelling is such a beautiful art form and can be a way to deepen our relationships, build trust, and feel seen, heard, and supported in our lives.
A Way to Plan for the Future– We can ask ourselves, where do we want our story to go?
By reflecting on the current life we are living, we can see if our story is still in alignment with what we want for ourselves, and if it is leading us to the life we want to live.
Remember, we have the power to mold and shape our story, and can be open to its beautiful unfolding. So much is still unwritten! We can use our story to affirm ourselves, our journey, our continued and committed path to health, wellness, sobriety, and happiness.
Are you tired of the story you are living? Are you ready for a change?
Do you want to reclaim yourself, and start writing a new story?
Is it time?
If you are ready to stop the substance use in your life and are wanting to have a new experience in life, contact us at Ashley Addiction Treatment, a residential treatment campus located on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, in Northern Maryland. We offer holistic and comprehensive support and are committed to walking the path of recovery by your side. We see the whole you and will join you in uncovering your gifts, talents, and abilities. You deserve to live a confident and meaningful life, with a story of success to be proud of. For more information, or to take the next steps, contact us at 800-799-4673.