A lesson is defined as “an experience, example or observation that imparts beneficial new knowledge or wisdom”. In active addiction, I consistently refused to ‘learn my lesson’, so to speak. Time and time again, I’d repeat the same behaviors and receive negative consequences. Towards the end, I was aware that I was acting in a totally self-destructive fashion but continued to do so because I was unwilling to allow any new information in and find another way to live.
Recovery is a process of learning lessons slowly over a period of time. The biggest lesson we learn is that for us to use drugs and alcohol, we immediately put our lives in jeopardy and face an entire host of unpleasant outcomes. From that simple starting point, we become open to grow. Through experiencing life without drugs and alcohol, having a support group and being allowed to make our own mistakes, we come to learn many lessons. We learn where our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors fall short or fail to work for us. We learn where we can do better next time. As long as we don’t pick up a substance, we always have the opportunity to do better.
In recovery, none of us are perfect. The recovering addict or alcoholic is simply another human being who is motivated to learn from life’s lesson in order to affect change and to grow for the positive. The miracle of it all is that the same addict or alcoholic who once existed as a plague to their loved ones for so long in active addiction can become, in recovery, an inspiration for family, friends and peers to seek change in their own lives. The shift from negative to positive that the recovering addict or alcoholic experiences is an enormous testament of hope for all involved.
At TSN, we take great joy in participating in this process. We believe that any addict or alcoholic, given the opportunity and the proper support, has the potential to make a miraculous change in their lives. The individual, the family and the entire community reap the benefit any time an addict or alcoholic begins to seek a new way of life. And one day at a time, we here at TSN are very pleased to play our part.