Many times newcomers in recovery programs come in and resist getting involved, or even getting close to other people. They’ve been hurt. They’re in pain. They are just trying to make sense of their new life without alcohol or drugs. We’ve all been there. At one time or another we might have thought we knew it all, but when our security (the substance) is gone, many of us lose our confidence and our voice.
Take heart. You will find your voice again- or perhaps for the first time- if you stick with recovery one day at a time.
What does it mean to find your voice?
I have a friend who is adamant about newcomers keeping quiet and listening in meetings until they get some clean time. It’s not that they shouldn’t talk (because they should share) but to go on a tangent about how everyone can stay clean and do this and that - they really don’t have the clean time to be throwing that out there. They are just beginning to get some clarity in their lives as the substances wane and recovery begins.
Finding your voice means that you find out who you are and wholeheartedly share yourself with others. It means digging deep and getting to the guts of who you are. It means admitting that you have issues when you have issues. It means asking for help when you need it. It means standing up for yourself when you need to. It means encouraging another person even when you are shaking with nervous energy at the thought of opening your mouth.
The biggest smile saved a life
I have a friend who is clean today largely because of one woman’s smile. My friend, (let’s call her Dawn), went to a couple of women’s recovery meetings and was not impressed. Of course she was a mess, as we all were coming into the program. She wanted to stop using because the pain was so great, but she resisted as well.
In walks Kelly who had a couple years clean. She had found her voice in recovery and shared quite a bit about how recovery saved her life. She found that the program worked when she worked it. She happened to smile a lot because she was truly happy. The days of drugs controlling her every thought were long gone. Dawn noticed that Kelly seemed to have true joy residing within in and she would walk out of the meetings with Kelly’s smile on her mind. She said that she wanted to smile like that; that it gave her the hope she desperately needed.
Dawn is 5 years clean now and she not only smiles a lot more, she uses her voice to share with other recovering addicts how they can do the same thing. She found her voice by following the principles of her 12 step group one day at a time. A smile made a big difference in her life.
How about you? Have you found your voice? If not, take heart. You will. Keep working on one day at a time. Grow. You can do it! I believe in you!
If you would like more information on recovery or finding your voice, contact Pat Moore Foundation today for assistance.
Written by Dominica A.