I, Kathy Berman, began my addiction recovery Nov. 24, 1976. This website/book is the overview of all I have used and learned about finding myself.
Instead of writing another book, I have put this book on a website. Why? I have many, many links to online resources. You can’t click on links in a book. Not even in Kindle.
Addiction Recovery Has Many Paths is designed to support and encourage the growth of those of us in long term sobriety. A separate members only site has all the resources needed for helping yourself and others live the best life possible.
“Recovery is a resumption of the work that was not completed when the woman was a girl. It is a coming into her own. It is an opportunity to resume the normal process of development that was sidetracked, perhaps first by constrained roles, perhaps by trauma, and then multiplied many times by hiding in the addiction. Her development was sidetracked by not accepting her needs as legitimate and not finding healthy ways to meet them, by not even knowing her needs. And so this is what recovery is: a developmental process of finding and building a new self. Recovery is a process of radical growth and change. When you are in recovery, you give birth to a new self. […] Many women initially think that recovery means a move from bad to good. They think that being addicted is evidence of shameful neediness, of deep and lasting failures. Recovery is not a move from bad to good, but from false to real. […] It is reality, being real, that now guides her rather than her efforts to be good or bad.” Stephanie Brown
How do you build a life in recovery? Once you give up an addiction, nothing in your life is the same. There is an old saying in AA that you only have to change two things in recovery: quit drinking and change everything else about you.
Structure is needed to develop habits and guidance. No one else has the answers for your life except you. So we each have an individual path to create. It takes courage and experimentation to learn the techniques that will work best for you.
Although addiction has some common roots for everyone, we each have to wrestle our own demons. So recovery becomes as unique as we each are. The most beautiful gift that we each receive in recovery is that every experience and trial that we have had is a tool to help others with his/her recovery.
The fear we experienced as children created frozen feelings in our adulthood. But in accepting ourselves, we need to remember that that fear protected us when we were small and had no clue how to respond in the world of adults who also were struggling with life plus addiction. But these fears are a protection that we no longer need. Letting go and allowing healing into your life works much better.
As the main addiction recovery program progresses, other addiction problems will surface. I believe that everyone needs to examine the codependent side of the addiction experience.
From the ACA Red Book—
“The conflict between the two sides of self is one of strategy and not of intent. Both the adult and the child long for the love and respect necessary to sustain the human spirit but disagree on how to attain their desire; the child by hopefully waiting in isolation and the adult by rushing into frustrated action. In ACA we learn both strategies lead only to despair.”
“Ending our inner conflict depends on both the adult and the child recognizing the need for unity in recovery. By acknowledging their need for each other, the adult and the child create the sense of wholeness needed to fully respond to the world.”
“Mutual acceptance allows the child to see that the ability in trust is damaged but not broken and can be restored by gently and slowly emerging from the protective prison of isolation. The adult becomes aware of the spirit of joy that inhabits every child and recognizes the need for openness and spontaneity in feeling completely alive.”