12 Steps to Recovery Or How God is the Ultimate Therapist

Today sucked. It just sucked. It has been a slow build, long time coming suck. (Okay, I debated using the word "sucked" because--well, goodness.....all the reasons we shouldn't use the word sucked HOWEVER, I googled and a more appropriate synonym would be "stunk".....reread that first sentence.....it doesn't cut it, does it?) So, yes, today sucked.

Take that back....half of my day was awesome; half sucked.  My job is awesome, amazing, incredible. God allows me to be part of someone's life when it is hard and they struggle and hurt. That is truly a blessing that I will never ever be worthy of and I only am able to do it because God allows me. The other half of the day---the part that I sometimes struggle to allow God to control---well, that part sucked. I know. Imagine that!??!?! (Doctors make the worst patients?? Try therapists!!!!)

I come home after a 13 hour day and brush up for my social work class tomorrow. Here is what I read:

       A Report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration outlined the following 12 principles:

  1. There are many pathways to recovery
  2. Recovery is self-directed and empowering
  3. Recovery involves personal need for change
  4. Recovery is holistic
  5. Recovery has cultural dimensions
  6. Recovery exists on a continuum of health and wellness
  7. Recovery emerges from hope and gratitude
  8. Recovery involves a process of healing and self-redefinition
  9. Recovery involves addressing discrimination and transcending shame and stigma
  10. Recovery is supported by peers and allies
  11. Recovery involves rejoining and rebuilding a life in the community
  12. Recovery is a reality  

(SAMHSA, 2012a, p.6) 

One thing that drives me crazy about mental health (okay, no pun intended) and social work is sometimes we therapist and social workers act like we invented these rules. Really?? Read over those again---see a theme? Can you think of where else it may say that we might get to the same place but the journey might look different? That we are  empowered by change? We have to have a personal need for change? That it impacts all aspects of our life? Our upbringing and backgrounds might impact how we view things? We have different spectrums of where we all are on the journey? We develop hope and gratitude and healing and we redefine our identities? Shame and stigma are discarded and we rebuild and rejoin a community? We need support in the journey? And, most importantly, it is real?

I was at a crossroads today. I can do what is easy and known or what is hard and unknown. I can rejoin and rebuild or I can stand on the outside and look in. I can move forward or backwards but staying where I am is not the option. 

But, I can't do both. 

So.....I have debated and debated my Haiti trip and have had a thousands reasons why I can't go. But, when I come down to it, when I really admit what my delay is about---it is the fight to be transformed. To rejoin and rebuild and heal and pick the higher road with the steepest climb but the greatest of all views. 

In the past 18 months, I have often asked God to take away suffering but I have been resistant to the transformation. I am not a Bibical scholar but I am pretty sure that isn't how it works. To be on that mountain, quiet, peaceful, forced to listen rather than ask---I can't help be transformed.  

The question then becomes----what happens if I decide to heal. (And make no mistake---it is a choice!) Rejoin. Rebuild. What does it mean about ME if I let it go? Does it mean I am gullible? Manipulated? Stupid? Unlovable? Abandoned? I know in my HEAD those things are not true but sometimes my heart takes some time to catch up. 

So.......(how I love the SO!) which road are YOU fighting? What does recovery look like for you? What rejoining and rebuilding are you saying no to?

 Addiction? Fear? Mistrust? Lying? 

Surrendering? Peace? Honesty? Love? 

It's a journey we all take together. 

Renmen Lavi with love, 


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