I’ve had a front row seat to watch my husband’s recovery journey. It wasn’t always smooth and the first few months included him breaking through denial of how just how bad his addiction was. Once he realized how much damage he’d done and found the resources for recovery, he dove in. But some addicts want to be spoon-fed their recovery without doing much work. You only get out of recovery what you put in to it.
Recovery is a full-time job in the beginning. It isn’t just going to a therapy appointment and a 12-step meeting once a week. It means a complete change of lifestyle. It might mean avoiding certain people or places. It means giving up things that are triggers. It means listening to podcasts, doing homework, reading books, and journaling every single day. It means learning about betrayal trauma as well as addiction. It means talking about it and not trying to pretend that everything is normal. It means learning to help your partner heal while you’re healing from your own wounds that were the root of the addiction. It means taking the initiative to do the recovery work without being reminded.
A CSAT, sponsor, accountability partner, or book can’t heal you. They can all help you and guide you, but YOU have to do the work. You have to look at your childhood and your life choices no matter how painful it is. You can’t make excuses and say you’re broken so you’ll never get better. You can’t keep going through life doing the same things you always did and expecting a different outcome. You have to change yourself. No therapist, book, or program can do it for you.