Alison's Insights

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

Everyone Needs Support – Mostly from Ourselves

Coming into recovery later in life opened my eyes to all kinds of aspects about myself.

One rather difficult thing to accept was how inauthentic I’d been with just about everyone I formed a relationship with, including myself.

I spent a great deal of time hidden behind a proverbial mask worn not only in public, but in private.  I was the queen of manipulation, twisting truths to assure I was everything to everyone.  I’d be just what they wanted me to be, never once considering (or caring) to show up as who I really was.  I was comfortable with this because I could keep everyone at the exact right distance away.  I recoiled at the idea of anyone getting too close for fear they might see me for who I really was.

I was so good at this masquerade-type living I even convinced myself I was someone else.

So imagine, when the conversation started in early recovery about a support system, I was paralyzed.  Yes, I knew I had my family.  They would certainly be supportive to a degree, but not to the extent my recovery circle was suggesting.

I never considered how this inauthentic living would become so terribly isolating.

I didn’t know where to begin until someone told me until I learned to love myself, it would be nearly impossible for me to generate real and honest relationships with others.

After a lot of soul-searching, some tears as well as laughter and a lot of honesty, today I’m finally able to look in the mirror and love the person staring back at me.

That person in the reflection is where my support starts.  The rest of my tribe is just a breath away.

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