Diet & Weight Magazine

Recovery: Can You Be Passionate About Recovery Or Are You Really Addicted to Recovery?

By Sobrfit3
Written By:  Cathy Shuba
"Happy Thursday!"
Today I thought I would write about the difference between thinking you have a "passion" for something but later realize you a have an addiction.  A few years back I over heard someone say they are so passionate about their recovery and thought to myself, well that is good and felt the same.  I continued to listen to this person, watch this person and eventually got to know this person in and out of recovery.  Eventually, I began  working with this person and came to realize that they were confused about having passion for something as a pose to having an addiction to something.  Later, I had approached this person and asked if they knew the difference between the two words.  She looked at me and of course asked why.  I continued to explain, in short, to this person that an addiction causes us to act in a certain way without letting us get to know us!  However, an addiction does much more to us but in short this is what I observed the most from this person.  For example, this person to me was addicted to her recovery program because everything revolved around going to meetings, asking, doing and living through everyone's problems and issues and advice; which then caused her to loose herself in the process of trying to stay sober.  Now, do not get me wrong, when I first became sober I went to a meeting everyday, spoke to my sponsor everyday and listened to suggestions and so forth.  I will explain more, this person could not make a decision on her own, could not function properly unless surrounded by recovery people, meetings and could not find serenity unless she was surrounded by recovery people.  I began to explain that when choosing to become sober we must be aware of how we are becoming sober, what type of recovery we want and to live independently in our recovery on a daily basis.  I told her although I thought she did well at her meetings, recovery parties or social events and recovery retreats she did not live the same life outside of those rooms.  She asked me to give her an example and that she needed to understand more about what I was talking about.  I continued to give her examples, for instance, I told her she was calm, approachable, less thin skinned and willing to learn when she was surrounded by her recovery program but outside of it she would start to fall apart, like when calling me nonstop, asking me nonstop about things that had nothing to do with recovery, very agitated, short tempered, judgmental and the list could go on.  She sat there and listened and began to cry.  She began to cry because she finally realized she did not have a passion for recovery but instead, had an addiction of her recovery program.  She began to say to me that she was in complete denial of her addiction just as she was about her alcoholism.  She also discovered she acted the same way as she did when she drank.  Same behaviors just different addiction.  She shared with me how she rationalized with the word 'passion' to cover up her addiction to the program and that she needed to live independently in her recovery not dependent of her recovery.
She thanked me for my honesty and asked what caused me to say what I said to her.  I told her I saw her going down the same road I once went down called "Dry Drunk!"  I told her that because it would help her see the whole picture of her recovery and where it was going.  She hugged me and asked me how she could be less addicted of her recovery program.  I told her time!  I told her when she allows herself to deal with her insecurities, fears and uncertainties without the crutch of the program.  I told her when she allows herself to learn about herself, her likes and dislikes and follows through with honesty when ever approached with something outside of her comfort zone.  I told her to buy a journal and start to write about her feelings, her day, what she has learned about, etc.  I told her to be willing to incorporate what she learns from her recovery program and practice that outside of her program walls.  I told her so many blessings will come to her if she continues to work on her.  Lastly, The positive message in all of this was that I told her she had a spiritual awakening!  I told her she just received so many gifts from me and that they should be held with hope, faith and compassion in her recovery.  The gifts I gave her were honesty, awareness, love, acceptance and a chance to grow independently in her recovery.  I told her she was a gift to me, as well and that God put her in my life for so many reason.  For me to stay humble as well, to stay honest with myself, to express how I felt without stuffing it or resenting it.  I then told her what I thought passion was and addiction.  I began to tell her that when growing up I had a passion for drawing, use of colors and anything to do with creating something with any type of medium.  Growing up I had a passion for sports, playing sports and engaging into any health topics.  Growing up I had passion for things in my life and never look at them as an addiction!  On the other hand, when I was a child I dealt with things by not dealing with them.  In other words, I stuffed my feelings, over reacted with things, worried with anxiety and feared many things but dealt with those feelings with anger.  Eventually, when I became a teen I experienced my first drink and that drink became an addiction.  I would become excited whenever I had a chance to drink, to get drunk or to just feel normal.  I actually thought the only way to feel normal was to drink and eventually become drunk.  I thought that I could not deal with anything unless I drank.  I depended on alcohol to get me through everything.  My addiction was not a passion but an addiction.
How do you know the difference between an addiction and passion?  Well, I had to learn this over the course in my recovery.  Let me just sum it up in a nut shell and not complicate it, a passion allows BALANCE in your life and addiction allows NO BALANCE in your life.
Passion for me is Sobriety Fitness, recovery, sharing my experience, strength and hope along with painting, crafts, running, fitness, learning about healthy ways of living etc., all these wonderful things in my life have balance and boundaries without work.  Addiction for me was alcohol and sometimes food,...yes you got it food!  When I engaged in alcohol, I did not want to stop drinking.  Same affect I had with food when growing up and experienced it again after I became sober.  When I became sober, my emotions and feelings were dealt with, but not to the fullest.  This resulted in eating more than I should.  I am aware of my addictive ways and work hard at it on a daily basis.  Dealing with my addiction involves always having that constant awareness, mindfulness and accountability so that I can be honest and true to myself!  Dealing with my passion, does not include dealing...it comes in form of love, self respect, self confidence and release of a freedom I find inside myself when expressing my true character.  Addiction to me takes a lot of work and willingness to have that balance in my life, in order to live healthy all around.  Passion, on the other hand, does not take mental or spiritual work, does not involve accountability, willingness, awareness and mindful thinking.  Passion is like a lite switch, when the lite is on I enjoy every moment of it without any struggles, fear or uncertainties.  When the lite switch turns off my balance is automatic without work.  For example, if I was addicted to running I would run in the morning and at night or run further than I should and constantly obsess over the next moment I have to run.  I would not function in a balanced matter and ignore things in my life that need tending too.  Passion is wonderful balance!  Addiction is always working on that balance!
Today I will run knowing I know the difference between passion and addiction and hope that my message today will allow awareness to those who may be addicted to their recovery program, which can lead you down the dry drunk road!  I will run with passion and not addiction!   

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