I know …
We all say it. And sometimes we say it without really thinking about it. It’s become such a common phrase that it now acts as an agreement statement as well as an acknowledgement or confirmation of fact.
However, when living with addiction(s), those words are often used to get someone to stop nagging at you. You just want them to stop telling you how you’re ruining your life or how you’re affecting everyone and everything in it.
I certainly did … all the time … and with a relatively good deal of sarcasm. I’d say, “I know” when I actually meant, “get off my back.”
That all changed when I found recovery. All of a sudden, those words become a very profound level of healing between two people who are trying to find their way out of living hell.
When I am talking with another person in recovery and hear of their pain, fear, shame, guilt, remorse or whatever else is challenging their recovery, I can say, “I know this is hard for you” because at one point or another in my life, I stood in those same shoes. I know firsthand what all that feels like from a very foundational level. I also know how I moved out and away from living with all that pain, guilt, shame, remorse and fear. And I share that too as yet another example of hope and the many blessings recovery brings to someone’s life … like mine.
Now if that same friend were to share those feelings and struggles with someone outside the rooms of recovery, he/she might hear, “I know this is probably hard for you”, but do they? Does that other person actually “know?” I’d venture to guess they don’t.
You see there is an enormous difference between just knowing something intellectually (theoretically) and knowing something from a very practical experience.
So the next time you say, “I know” … ask yourself, do I?