What I Think I Know Now That I Didn’t Know Then

By: Marc McMahon

I wonder if we all are given one recovery that is going to stick but the thing is we don’t know which time it will be. Will it be the first time we try to get clean and have it work and never use again? Or will you be like me and not have your time come until after your hard head gets beat up so bad that on attempt number 9,364 we succeed in attaining long-term sobriety or something that resembles that anyways. I just wonder is all because my recovery is so very different today than it ever has been. I mean I don’t even work a traditional program although I have one that works.


It just blows my mind to think that most of what I had been taught about how to recover did not work for me and it has for so many others. The basics are still the same don’t use and you won’t get high. It really is that insanely simple for me today always has been the problem was I could not stop picking up the pipe and no program or set of rules was going to stop that, only God and I could. My Higher Power gives me the wisdom and strength to do it and I at some point muster up the courage and warrior mentality it will take to win the war and do battle on the daily. That is my program in a nutshell along with much, much, service anyway I can. That mainly takes place online here but I will help wherever I can be of service. I like to help it makes me happy today.

Why Is This Time Different

I am not sure why this time is so much different than all the others but I do know this much. In all my past attempts at recovery, I never wanted it like I do now. I never had the feeling like it was finished like I do this time. It has no hold on me any longer and I know some may think that is dangerous to say but knowing that Ill say it again because I know this as my truth today. Time shall tell lets hope I am right huh? My mindset about recovery going into this was even different. It was not so strict. I said I am going to do whatever I need to in order to at least improve my quality of life not knowing what I really meant at the time just leaving myself open to all options presented to me was all. I was completely open and willing to try about anything other than the 12 steps again to recover.


So I did, I found a relationship with myself through yoga I had never known before and that strengthened the one I already had with my Higher Power, I enrolled in therapy with a clinician vs the traditional treatment programs I usually attend and I quit going to meetings and got on some meds and somehow with my writing that is what works for me yet I had no idea until this go around that I needed to try something different. Here I thought this whole time that the problem was just me and it wasn’t I just was not giving myself my best chance. I think that sometimes we lose sight of the fact that we are all individuals in recovery and individuals do things individually not exactly the same! Correct me if I am wrong.

This thought was not in my head like it is today last year. I have learned that peer pressure to recover a certain way is a real thing and I think it mainly comes from within. I think we are almost conditioned to believe that the way to recover is through the 12 steps and I’m not knocking the program hell I love it but there are MANY OTHER ways to recover that just might work for you if those are not is all I am saying. That is all I am saying, again I love and admire the programs of AA/NA just wanna be clear on that here so there is no hate mail, lol

What Else Have I Learned This Year

Another biggy is that although recovery is deadly serious for most it does not have to be so uptight you don’t allow yourself to breath. To be able to just chill out and have fun not constantly consumed with the fact your maybe an addict in recovery. It is important to try and simply relax whenever we can get the time too, especially early on because recovery has enough stress without us adding more that is not really needed. I think we have too much of a tendency to walk on eggshells around our recovery and I think that aids in perpetuating our relapses, makes sense to me anyway. It is serious, life-threatening, but if we are not able to relax enough to enjoy the miracle of our struggle then odds are as addicts we won’t do it for long. Hence my constant and continuous relapses over the years.


This has played a huge factor in my recovery this time you all. Recovery this time has been harder than it ever has but I appreciate and understand my struggle is necessary today in order for me to thrive tomorrow. This I did know before or did not care to know not sure which one. Never the less, by relaxing and yes with the help of medications, I have been able to do this. On the medication note. If it is suggested that maybe you try some by your doctor it does not mean you are crazy, or even going crazy. It may not even mean you have a mental illness.

I have found that sometimes we have to go through things in life that are let’s say extra difficult and sometimes we may find we don’t handle the extra difficulty very well. If that’s the case and meds are suggested by your doctor give yourself a break and consider trying some. They may help you. You also may only be on them a short time just to get through early recovery. Some may say, well if you’re on meds your not in recovery. I say, flip them the bird, move on, and take care of your damn self because no one else will! I am going to end this on that bomb drop and with an extra special I love you all, stay blessed.

About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”





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