Huffington Post recently posted a story about a woman who struggled with an addiction to drugs and alcohol as well as suffering from an eating disorder. In the article she talks of how, "According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 23.5 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That's approximately one in every 10 Americans over the age of 12. The harsh reality is that only 11 percent of those with an addiction receive treatment." And that, coupled with the facts that her addictions wanted her dead, is why she openly speaks about her recovery. Below, she shares her five additional reasons why sharing about recovery can help others who may also be struggling.
It Reduces Shame Author Lauren Stahl shares that her life was riddled with shame while she suffered through her addictions. It ruled her. It put her in life-threatening and embarrassing situations. But by being honest and admitting her road to recovery, she says it gave her her power back. "By outing my addictions, I am able to give them less power and tap into the person I was truly put here to be."
It Helps Others There's something about the human connection that is necessary for survival. When we relate to others, we learn, we grow and we thrive. Stahl admits that when she shared her story, one she never anticipated anyone would be interested in, she found connections with others who were in her same predicament. "By being honest and open about my struggles, I watch as it helps and heals others."
It Lets Go of Baggage In her own words, she says it best. "By letting go of this baggage, I am able to focus on the here and now. And with this mindset, I can focus on helping, servicing, and inspiring others. That is part of my purpose for being here and the more I block that off, the more self-involved and destructive I am with myself."
No More Secrets They say what you don't know can't hurt you. But that simply isn't true. Secrets have a hold, a power over you. You become a slave to them. It's something Stahl experienced first-hand. "I hid my addictions and destructive behaviors from most people. At the time I thought it was normal. I didn't realize a life without secrets was an option. So when I let go of my addictions, I couldn't hide anymore. And with this, I don't carry that shame, regret, or disappointment in myself. I can show up and take ownership over my life now."
It Creates Authentic Relationships With Others Trusting others forces you to trust yourself, your intuition, your gut. But that wasn't something that came naturally for Stahl. In fact, she says, "In the past it was never about fully being there for another person. It was always about what could I get from that person to fill the void I felt within. I needed that validation and since I wasn't getting it from within, I turned to everything outside of myself." But once she learned to be real, to be honest, real relationships started to form. And she was able to inspire and be inspired by those around her. Recovery is a gift. Don't be afraid to share yours with us and others.
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