I believe that the only true way to recovery is the hard way. I have come to understand that my addiction was created due to my inability to deal with life. I learned to escape my painful emotions by filling my head with unhealthy garbage. Even after I understood that I had a problem, I never really faced it. I did just enough to get by and fool myself into believing I was better. I even had a therapist tell me I was cured.
My true recovery didn’t start until I saw the pain I was causing my wife. She relived it every day and it didn’t go away. I had to face the monster that I was and make some drastic changes. I tried the 12 steps, but that was just a life sentence of running away. So many programs just focus on the addict, but totally ignore the traumatized partner. Why do I deserve a plastic chip for doing what a good husband should always do?
I chose to do the hard work and change my life. I eliminated anything that was toxic in my life. I re-evaluated what was important in life. I spent hours in therapy to resolve the trauma from my past. I spent hours every day on recovery work. The journey is not over. New good habits become a healthier way of living.