WHAT IT TAKES: Getting Started in Recovery

Written by Hannah Kirkpatrick: Mrs. Vermont America 2013, Recovery Advocate & Speaker

(Disclaimer: As you’ve possibly discovered by now, I’m not a doctor or therapist. I’m just another vulnerable person out there who fell prey to the multi-pronged hooks of addiction, and have been successfully pulling the barbs out, on a daily basis, with the help of some great people and practices from numerous sources.  In short, I have done some serious inner work, and have been given an (awesomely imperfect) internal life beyond my wildest dreams in return.

I gave a talk last week about my own journey, and was inspired to share an image, from my perspective only, of the qualities I believe are necessary to begin a successful journey out of the grip of the hurts, habits, hangups…ie, the addictions, that plague millions of us.  I call that journey “Recovery”.  Thought it might be helpful to share.)

Just some musings on the attitudes necessary to begin the awesomeness of Recovery

Just some musings on the attitudes necessary to begin the awesomeness of Recovery

1. Vulnerability

Becoming willing to believe:

  • Strength comes through our collective weaknesses, and together we can do what we cannot do alone

  • The world responds better to us being vulnerable rather than our pride (which is often a disguise)

  • Maybe we’ve been practicing Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”

  • We can admit what’s not working, and become willing to try doing it differently…. by direction that’s not our own!

2. Courage

Courage comes from the latin “Cur” which means “heart”. The original definition means “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”.  Becoming courageous means:

  • Happiest are those with the courage to be “imperfect” and admit to our human “flaws” – this is where the magic begins!

  • We admit when we CAN’T STOP the addictive substances/behaviors on our own…and we find the courage to believe that is okay

  • Raising the white flag and asking for help is the most courageous act we can take.  (Seriously!) This is the point our stories can turn from tragedies into heroes journeys.

  • We need just enough courage to take that FIRST STEP.  Momentum (and a strange, powerful force of change) will propel us from there.

3. Trust

Here’s the “leap of faith” part.  It’s okay to feel the fear about moving into recovery…and we begin to do it anyway.  Dig deep in your gut and I believe you’ll find a feeling, a knowing, or a voice that assures you. Becoming willing to trust:

  • We will be supported….especially through the early period of withdrawals and trials

  • We WILL get the changes we are seeking (may not be how or when we’d like, but they’ll come).

  • We (yes, you!) are WORTH the new life available

  • A life, beyond our wildest imagination, is waiting for us on the other side.  All the work and the tears and struggle, before you know it, WILL ALL BE WORTH IT.

  • From the millions who have been healed before us, we see it will work if we work it…whatever path to recovery we choose to take.

  • Action toward change begins change. Thinking about it, or trying on our own, is (frustratingly, I agree) not enough.

Are you willing to become vulnerable, courageous, and trusting enough to take the FIRST STEP towards your best, addiction-free life in Recovery? Whether you are or not, at least now you know “what it takes”.


My best to you,  ~ Hannah

PS, This is my original stuff, friends, so if you’d like to share it, go ahead… and please just keep it linked to the author.  Thanks!

About Hannah Kirkpatrick ~ Mrs. Vermont America 2013, Recovery Advocate & Inspirational Speaker

Addictive substances & behaviors devastate the lives of millions of Americans every day. I was one of them, and I now share my story of escape, and the miracles of hope and joy in long-term recovery that has repaired my family and given us a new lease on life.
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