Recovering Integrity

Introducing Ryan Collison. Ryan will be publishing a monthly article on his own experiences with recovery. This new feature of the TSN Addiction Recovery Blog will be called “Collison Corner”. We encourage you to subscribe and keep up with Ryan’s insightful stories.

Recovering Integrity

Integrity is defined as an adherence to a code of values, a soundness, a completeness. In my active addiction, this concept meant absolutely nothing to me. It couldn’t. My lifestyle was consumed by self-seeking behavior. I had no values to adhere to. I was not a sound individual and my idea of being complete meant that I had enough drugs to last me through the day, regardless of who I hurt or what I did to obtain them.

Simply putting the drugs down did not mean that I suddenly transformed into a person who practiced a principled lifestyle. Living with integrity is like any behavior or skill that needs to be learned. I had to learn by watching others and by doing. I observed the people around me who were there to help teach me a new way to live. I saw when these people said that they would be somewhere, they showed up. I saw when they didn’t know or they made a mistake, they said so. I began by imitating them, until I understood what it felt like and the value of making such a change.

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Integrity is a practice. It must be repeated over and over again and continuously refined. I try to practice integrity in my personal life, in my relationships with friends, co-workers, family and strangers. I don’t always get it right, but I do see the constant growth and change.

In the field of addiction treatment and at TSN, this practice becomes all the more essential. When an addict or alcoholic reaches their hand out, seeking help, it is imperative that my actions and behaviors are reflective of my values as a recovering individual.
In life, it’s often the small things that really count. This starts with returning phone calls promptly or admitting when I don’t know the answer to a specific question. I understand that I’m responsible for putting people on the path to recovery. They need to see me walk the walk. And for my own recovery, so do I.

Ryan is an Intake Coordinator for Treatment Solutions. If you need addiction help don’t hesitate to call him at 877-640-1943

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