How do you define recovery? It is an increasingly used and popularized concept, but what is it really? As it relates to overcoming addiction, recovery encompasses far more than abstinence. Read More
When I first quit drinking I felt like I didn't have too much to be sorry about. I had not married or produced children so I had no family I had mistreated while drunk. I preferred to drink alone so I had not ticked off the rest of my family, friends or neighbors, etc.
I felt like all I had done was disappoint a few people. That there was not a lot of collateral damage.
Anyway, I made a point out of trying to forgive everyone I thought had done something bad to me. I just wanted to be done with it. In the process of forgiving them I realized just what a monster I had been.
Everything about me was wrong during my heaviest drinking. The the way I talked and thought, just everything was wrong. And I treated people pretty badly. I realized they may have done some of the things they did as a matter of self preservation.
It was a seminal moment for me.
I had not been accountable for my actions at all. I had an excuse for everything and the hatred to make it seem real.
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Dan Mager, MSW is the author of Some Assembly Required: A Balanced Approach to Recovery from Addiction and Chronic Pain. He received his MSW from CUNY's Hunter College.
When and how should we open up to loved ones?