As a professional speaker and trainer, I am on a personal mission to help others avoid unnecessary pain and suffering so they can enjoy happier, more fulfilling, and more successful lives.
Passion for Those in Addiction Recovery
Through some unique experiences in my life, I have developed a compassion for those suffering the challenges of addiction and those trying to thrive in recovery.
What inspires my compassion for all people is the realization that I am no different from anyone else — no better, no worse. I firmly believe that each of us is simply a product of our nature and our nurture — the start we had in life and the experiences we’ve faced since we were born.
Because of my Nurture – or the experiences and conditioning I’ve faced in my life – I have done many bad things. I’ve acted out in rage, I’ve lied, I’ve broken countless laws. I’ve done many things that I am not proud of and things I wouldn’t have done had it not been for the stress I was under or the situation I faced.
With addiction, I feel blessed to have not been pulled down harder by the grasp of alcoholism, and that the consequences I’ve faced from my actions were not more severe. But I know I have used alcohol, and many other common indulgences, to escape boredom, to loosen me up, to help me fit in, to escape from troubles on my mind, to numb the pain in my heart, or to elevate the euphoria of a major win.
We’ve all experienced sensations of excitement and of suffering in our lives. Each of us has reached for something beyond our body to ease our pain, distract our mind, or elevate our mood. Whether it’s watching hours of mindless television, surfing social media all night, eating some terribly unhealthy fast food, spending money on things we don’t need, or reaching for a drink or any other potentially addictive substance, it’s all done for the same reason. We use many things to seek the same end in our body and mind – that same joyous release of dopamine in our brain or the same comforting numbing of cortisol in our veins.
You’ve escaped, you’ve numbed, you’ve celebrated, we all have. It’s called being human and part of the life experience. Many of us are just lucky to have slipped through the grasp of an addiction that could have toppled our life. The escape available to us at our time of pain or joy was a glass of wine, a bowl of ice cream, or money to spend on crap we didn’t need; it wasn’t an addictive pain med or a joint laced with cocaine.
After some “innocent” indulgence or escape, we’ve paid the price with a credit card balance or a headache, but we faced a new day and had another chance to live our life. Why doesn’t everyone deserve that chance at continuing the human experience?
Those who have struggled with or been overcome by addiction are no different from any of us. They’re humans going through the human experience, but their lives took unfortunate detours that others, fortunately, did not take. And because we are all the same… addicts or not, drug abusers or not… we all deserve to be treated the same, with the same respect, the same dignity, and given the same chance to prove ourselves anew each day.
As with many things in life, what is fair or what we deserve doesn’t always translate into the reality we see. The reality is that men and women re-entering a normal life from the chains of addiction don’t get the same treatment as others, and they face many challenges most do not. Social stigmatism, deflated self-esteem, limited opportunities, and legal constraints all stack the deck against them.
But that doesn’t mean any person, no matter their transgressions, isn’t worth the effort. Have addicts caused pain and suffering in the lives of others? Absolutely. Sometimes, immeasurable pain. But that is a fault we all share — we’ve all caused pain of some kind, and at some point. Remember this, and “Let us not cast the first stone” of judgment or anger or hatred.
Instead, let’s focus on the truth that every person has within them the potential to contribute to society, the potential to create and live a decent life, the potential to be happy and to help foster happiness for others.
The loss of one friend, one neighbor, one family member to the pressures of social stigma, or the unique challenges that a life in recovery poses, is a loss to the whole community. But one person lifted up and empowered toward fulfilling their dreams is a win for the entire world.
I’ve shared the reasons for my compassion and understanding but haven’t explained what draws me to this work and why I am passionate about serving those in recovery. As a philosopher of life, I often reflect on the nature of things we face during the life experience.
I think of the failures, the let-downs, the mistakes we make and challenges we succumb to as us digging ourselves into a hole. But here’s something to consider: if you wish to build a skyscraper of your hopes and dreams, you have to dig that hole pretty deep in order to support the foundation you will need to build upon. The deeper you dig with your mistakes, your “lessons of life,” your temporary failures, the greater the foundation of potential and the higher you can build… but you have to stop digging and start building! And that is where I aim to help.
In some ways, life is like a pendulum. The farther a pendulum swings in one direction, the farther it can swing in the other. The more pain we feel in school when staying up late to study and pouring over the books, the better prepared we are for life. The more agony we experience in the gym, the healthier our bodies become.
I believe the farther a person has gone “off track,” the farther they can go in life; the more pain one has felt in their heart, the more compassion and understanding and love they can find to share. Think of the One who lived among us that has done the most to change the world. He wasn’t able to spread so much love, hope, faith, and peace around the world despite His horrific crucifixion on the cross, but partially because of it.
The same is true for each man and woman, especially those we know living in recovery. They don’t just have potential, they are not just capable and worthy despite their challenged or troubled past, but they are strong, they are capable, they are empowered for greatness, for service, and for compassion partially because of the past they’ve known.
As a human potential coach and trainer, I focus my efforts on serving people in recovery. To me, recovery isn’t about merely surviving. Recovery is about thriving!
I’ve found that with the right tools, the right support, and the courage to strive to become one’s best self, anyone can tap into an enormous store of potential they’ve always had but didn’t know existed. They can thrive!
Passion for Those in Addiction Recovery
If you would like to learn more about the work I do with those in recovery, I invite you to join my new Facebook Group – A Life Unchained. In the group, I share the resources, training, and inspiration people can use to live into their true potential, despite their past.
Know someone in recovery? Please share this Passion for Those in Addiction Recovery blog with them.
To your Success and Happiness,