Recovery: 14 Lessons Learned

My recovery started in 2014, a couple months before college graduation.  Since then, I’ve been blessed with many mentors and guides along the journey.

Here are 14 (of many) lessons Recovery has taught me:

  1. People everywhere sometimes say one thing, believe something else, and act on their beliefs more than their words.
  2. Self-awareness in our culture is a treasure not many people have experienced; it can make those who do recognize and practice this feel lonely or out of sync sometimes.
  3. By keeping an open mind and staying true to oneself (i.e. listening to your instincts), an individual can let others in, keep people out, create successful relationships, and stay safe whatever the situation.
  4. SOMETIMES SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN – it’s not easy, and one never knows what words or phrases a person will take offense with, but sometimes speaking up or out is kinder and more helpful than keeping quiet.
  5. What people will criticize the most in others is what they have not yet dealt with.  That doesn’t mean the accused is blameless or without the character flaw, etc.; it means that some self-reflection and perspective is needed in the tense situation.
  6. Explaining something (no matter how clear or concise) only works when the other party has an open mind and is actively listening.
  7. Open, postive communication successful when both parties keep an open mind, listen actively, and are willing to change/compromise/accept another viewpoint.
  8. Discovering that what you thought was true, really isn’t hurts a lot.  How an individual chooses to cope with or react to the hurt says a lot about her or him.
  9. No one is perfect, everyone sometimes falls into assumptions or whatever; what matters is owning it and trying to make things right
  10. When traditional methods don’t work, try something else.
  11. The only limits people have are the ones they put on themselves.  What can you do when the inner voices stop saying “you can’t”, “you shouldn’t”, or ” that is impossible”?
  12. Being raised in a non-traditional culture can make blending in with mainstream society difficult, but it also provides unique insight and strengths too.  So be yourself, blend when you have to, but keep your authentic self too.
  13. Abuse trains the mind, body, and spirit to think, act, and react a certain way.  You’re not alone.  Maybe you can get over it yourself, but the hard work feels easier with professional help and a strong support network.
  14. Finally, it’s okay to walk away from people, relationships, situations, or experiences.  That is not giving up or giving in.  That is making healthy choices to support oneself