Dealing with Pain in Recovery

Obstacles can unexpectedly pop up during sobriety. But having the first three steps in place can give us the knowledge and the wherewithal to cope. Here they are for reference:

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

I think that by working these steps that we can come to terms with all obstacles… we may feel hopeless at times, but we truly have the tools to overcome our diversities.

I Was Powerless

For example, both my parents passed away during my first three years of sobriety. Oh, did I want to drink or pop prescription opioids to end that overwhelming pain!

Attending meetings and sharing my heartbreak with my fellows however, was much better than any pill or drink. My sponsor helped me recall that, “God does not give us more than we can handle,” and my therapist helped me verbally rid myself of all of that sadness.

A Power Greater Than Myself

The God of my understanding held my hands as I cried inconsolably. He held me and told me that my Mom and Dad were in a wonderful kingdom and that the no longer suffered. I believe that I will see them again one day.

Booze and pills would have made my psyche worse. I knew I had to come to terms with this trauma, and that I needed to feel. I could not have mourned if I was using and the angst would not be alleviated—only temporarily numbed and set aside.

Accepting My Powerlessness

I needed to accept my powerlessness, that my Higher Power was walking with me, and that I could look to Him for guidance. AA and NA kept me in check—those meetings guided me as I struggled through heartache.

Learning to accept ‘life on life’s terms’ is difficult, but I believe strongly that my difficulty would have been far more incongruous had I succumbed to my addiction.

Finding a bit of courage, I did get to the other side of my losses. Allowing my mind to be clear and open and allowing myself to feel were key during my recovery.

The obstacles that confronted me allowed me to grow and to move beyond the notion that substances are the answer to all my ills.

You will likely have your own challenges. With the support of the fellowship you will find that you have untapped strength and fortitude.

You are not alone—not alone as you travel past the pitfalls on your journey.

Author: Katie H. is a writer, recovering addict, and mother based in Connecticut.