Recovery Contest Winner #8: The Way Therapy Opened Me Up


In honor of Recovery Month, we asked you to send us your stories about the impact community, nutrition or environment has had on your life since you put down substances and picked up life. Winners are not only receiving copies of our book, The Miracle Morning for Addiction Recovery, but are also being published here on the site.

This week we have Karen G.

Community definitely played and continues to play the most important part of getting to celebrate six years staying on the alcohol recovery road.

It started with my medical community—particularly the physician’s assistant who stayed with me for hours as I totally broke down and admitted I needed help. She got me through the worst—making many calls, scheduling office visits, checking on me and acting as my therapist those first few weeks.

Swallowing my pride and ego, I went to a therapist to finally address my inner pain. It took four different therapists until I found the right one for me. She listened to me, gave me encouragement and kindness when needed, and tough love and honesty when I needed that too.

Over one-and-a-half years, she guided me, going backwards through my life until I thoroughly got through each painful incident. Surprised, I realized hidden in my subconscious was the day I was born, teased by my family because I made dad miss his favorite TV show, Gunsmoke. I unknowingly added my own words to the teasing of not being lovable, but an inconvenience.

She helped me face the pain within not only from others, but from myself and my own self-defeatist words I told my inner victim mind. Getting through that was one of the hardest, most painful things I’ve ever done. I’m so grateful I faced it, or I’d still be in that pain. It was cleansing—crying deeply in therapy and at home. I learned then that we need to release ALL the pain, or it still owns you.

I now have those memories but without the pain attached.

I’ve learned, when I start to feel like a victim, to stop and tell myself that those words don’t have a place in my life any longer and can’t stay. I let myself feel the pain, anger and sadness but then it doesn’t get to move in and take up residence any longer.

I’ve been going to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me in the top 10% of extreme generalized anxiety clients; I’ve also been diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed a low dose of medication, which has helped me immensely.

Recovery has included a six-week beginning yoga workshop a few months after I stopped drinking, which led me to a different community of individuals I saw as “interesting” before. That started my journey experiencing different styles of yoga and meditation classes, going to two different healers, learning breath techniques and opening a whole new area of inner growth and tools to help me.

Finally, attending motivational self-help events and sharing with others during group exercises helped me realize I wasn’t alone in my painful experiences. I have become great friends with many who are my community now. Podcasts, Facebook Lives, other social media events and trainings also help to keep me on my new road of sobriety.

It’s not always easy not drinking, but I get to enjoy truly living again and creating new meaningful memories with my daughter, husband and so many others I’m so grateful for.