Alison's Insights

Making Sense of Addiction Recovery in Midlife One Slow Deep Breath at a Time

Who’s Behind the Curtain?

When I was a little girl, I loved watching The Wizard of Oz.  I can remember jumping into my Dad’s lap when that green face would seem to leap through our TV screen.  I wasn’t afraid of the flying monkeys so much, just that green face.

I find it tremendously interesting those movies we loved as children resonated for reasons we’re meant to uncover.

I’ve come to realize how this particular movie held such messages for me in a rather profound way.

As I launched into my recovery journey, I began to understand how intensely I was led by the voice behind the curtain.  And, in the end, how deceiving that voice was all along.

If you recall, in this movie, everyone unquestionably trusted everything the great and wonderful “Oz” spoke to them about.  Whether it was directional or how they were to see themselves, that voice told them everything they needed to know and believe.  Period.

In some ways those in the land of Oz feared the voice, yet they followed it anyway.  They couldn’t imagine a way of life other than how they were directed to live by the voice of Oz.  Little did they know it was all deception.

Well now, isn’t that interesting.  Seems I too lived with some unknown voice leading me through every single day of my life.  I followed it wherever it led me, believing whatever I heard.  It took me far away from anything remotely calm and serene like home.  This was the voice of addiction or the internal messages that deceived me for decades.

And just like in movie when the voice behind the curtain is revealed,  everyone came to understand how deceived they had been.  Those living in Oz saw the man standing there for what he was, just a man.

But here’s where the real message of this movie comes into play for me. When the curtain was pulled back, everyone came to find they already held the solutions to their problems.  The Lion showed courage by his actions.  The Scarecrow proved he had a brain as he figured things out along their trail.  The Tin Man showed us his heart when he dropped a tear.  And Dorothy found the her way back home – where she knew she belonged – by simply closing her eyes and slowing her thoughts down.

This is exactly what has happened to me as I moved through the process of recovery.  By pulling back the curtain of addiction I was able to reveal all the things that kept me from finding an uncomplicated, peacefully secure “home”, living the life I was meant to live.

So just like Dorothy, when I feel lost and anxious, all I have to do is close my eyes, take a deep breath and think, “there’s no place like home.”

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