Progress AND Perfection (….yes, I just said that!) – Elizabeth Kipp

This thing about not being perfect can be a soothing balm to a perfectionist such as myself when I get things blown out of proportion. Mostly my recovery is about “progress not perfection… but I sensed so much frustration around this concept when I first came into recovery. I call myself a perfectionist in recovery, or a recovering perfectionist. My striving for the perfect can drive me straight into suffering… and out of recovery. My Inner Critic had a field day with me when I made a mistake. I have worked to tone this down and have made progress. Along the way, I discovered why I was having such a hard time harnessing my strident Inner Critic around this perfectionist obsession. I discovered that this penchant I had developed was one I had come by honestly. Let me explain. Yes, humans are imperfect. Yet there are many things we set… Continue reading

Food, Exercise and Drug Addiction: Real Wellness – Isabella Paola

When I was using my idea of a healthy diet was coffee, a donut, crack, heroin, and maybe a McChicken. I know, sounds very well rounded. Forget about exercise or any sort of healthy movement, no daily walk or bike ride, in fact I think the only moving I was doing was to peek out of my blinds. I am not alone in the lack of overall health and wellness perpetrated through my drug addiction, many people become malnourished, vitamin deficient and damage organs and organ tissue. When we are in the throes of our addiction we stop caring about vitamins, the food groups, and a daily dose of sun and exercise. When I first got sober it was hard for me to begin navigating what health and wellness was. It was like I had to relearn what a healthy meal consisted of, surprisingly not a donut a day. I… Continue reading

If you dislike the words “character defects,” consider “traits.” – By Christine Beck

    What’s Wrong with ME? The purpose of the 6th and 7th steps in 12-step recovery is to uncover “character defects” and to pray to remove these defects.  I have two issues with this. First, the word “defect” sounds as if there is something wrong with me, something I think or do that is my fault. Second, defect sounds as if it is all wrong, no part of the defect is worth saving.  I’d like to offer a different perspective on both ideas. In working the program of Adult Children of Alcoholics, I’ve learned the word “traits” for those habits of thought and action that were ingrained in me as a response to growing up in the chaos, dysfunction, and emotional abandonment that any child who grew up that way will develop as a survival strategy.  When I read the “Laundry List Traits” of 14 characteristics of an Adult… Continue reading

Love Your Addiction, Love Yourself Practicing Radical Self-love – Jillian O

“Love your addiction, love yourself.” When I first read these words, they stunned me. It was a complete paradigm shift. Away from guilt and shame and pain, and towards love and forgiveness and well-being. These words were the sub-heading in one of my favorite recovery books, 30 Day Sobriety Solution, part of Day 4: The Forgiveness Solution (for me, this solution alone is worth buying the book!). I have said it elsewhere, and I will say it here, because I fundamentally believe it to be true: people in recovery (whether sustained or cyclical) are some of the most empathetic, strongest, and bravest people I have ever met. Many have endured hundreds of indignities–big and small– while using and yes, perhaps even in going through a recovery process, especially if this process involved the criminal justice system. Some have hit a hard rock bottom, and too many have said goodbye forever to loved… Continue reading