The Pursuit Of Character In Recovery

“Every time you as an original human take actions outside the norms of the neurotic society, the society most certainly gets baffled and quite instantaneously begins mocking you for your uniqueness.” ―Abhijit Naskar

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The average origin story behind addiction never begins in love or safety. It is usually found in childhood trauma. So I will not bore you with the details of mine. The beginning of my tale led me to a boozy life of self-victimization, perpetual anger, never evolving as a human being and orbiting rock bottom for many, many years.

As a young woman, I never laid out a blueprint for the life I hoped to lead. There was no master plan with boxes to check as I moved along. I was volatile. Making poor life choices due to habitual drinking well into my late 30’s. Such a person likes to believe they are good. They desperately want to change. However, they lack confidence and never developed the tools or knowhow to practice a well-lived life.

The winter of 2015 was one of my all-time lows. I was working as a restaurant manager and perhaps one of the most ineffective bosses you could have ever met. Lost in the throes of addiction. I was selfish, toxic, and without confidence, I lacked the social skills to build healthy relationships. I lived in a constant brain fog due to hangovers, stress and being completely in over my head. Overwhelmed by the life I was not my best self.

By the spring of 2015, I decided enough was enough. I was failing at life and it was no longer acceptable. I quit my role as a manager. Let go of the relationships that enabled my toxic habits. I took a job as a waitress and went to work. I understood it would be a hard experience. Unfortunately, I did not know just how lonely, painful and long such a transformation would be.

My pursuit of a booze-free life led me to a love of personal development. I also became obsessed with how does one improve their character flaws. Is such growth even possible for a person like me?

Along the way, I discovered Rich Roll, Dr. Gabor Mate and Ryan Holiday. All great teachers in their own field when studying addiction or how to design a good life. Rich and his podcast guests guided me throughout my journey. Dr. Mate gave me a why behind addiction. Ryan leads me to amazing books and stoicism. Both were valuable tools in forging a path in recovery.

It has been 5 years since I began my quest of life after booze. I became a lifelong student. I finally adopted the reading habit I always desired and was too hungover to begin. I have failed many times these past few years. Learned to appreciate my mistakes. I now welcome the challenges as I understand they build resilience. I still stumble, a lot. My rebound is now quicker. I lack discipline, however, I continue my pursuit of such a practice.

I have been booze-free for 19 months and currently studying to become a recovery coach. I am in the process of trading my once self-centered existence to one of service. I have accepted I can control how I respond to a situation and not to concern myself with issues outside of my control. Developing my character alongside recovery will be a life long project that is ever-evolving.

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