Often times when folks enter recovery for the first time, there are presenting issues that are obvious. Often we are deep in a severe addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, relationships, cutting, shopping, or a host of other options. Our addiction has presented itself in a very obvious way and often times, it is ruining our lives. When we find our way to recovery for the first time, it can be such an eye-opening and soul stretching experience. Like a child in the early developmental years, we learn something new every day. The world and all that it holds opens up to us and we become a sponge of learning and growing.
Interestingly, as the years go by, many forget the reasons that brought us to recovery in the first place. The original symptoms have subsided and we may very well be walking in freedom in that area. The perception that, “I am better” begins to permeate our thinking. We can often think we had only one issue, the original one that presented, to walk through recovery with and now we can re-enter the “normal” world. Almost like a car that we take to the shop only once and expect it to run well for the rest of it’s existence.
In my experience, which has been 20 years in recovery, the issues of our brokenness go much deeper than our original addiction. The underlying emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes continue to have an impact on our spiritual growth, our relational development, and our internal serenity. God, through the process of recovery, is not after your “normal-ness”, He is after your heart and it’s transformation. He lovingly meets you at your darkest hour, but not only for the relief of life destroying symptoms. He meets you in that place because He is passionate about your freedom, your peace, and your serenity.
When we begin to walk the road of avoiding the obvious, we do ourselves, our recovery, and God a disservice. Our recovery gets reduced to behavior management and negates transformation. It becomes more about what we are not doing and who we are not anymore than who we are created to be and how we are living in that freedom. Recovery is a lifelong transformational relationship with our Divine Creator that leads us on a road to freedom more and more every day.
As I write these words, I have to stop and look in the mirror of my own life and ask myslef the question…
In what areas am I avoiding the obvious in my own life?
My follow up question to myself, and to you if it applies would be…
What action step will I take to address the situation?