Posted by: VoiceinRecovery | July 22, 2010

Moments When Recovery “Click”

Written by ViR

I realize I haven’t written about my own personal recovery in a while, and since this is a recovery blog as well as bringing light to body image struggles, I thought it was time to have a check in. I have been struggling a lot lately, in life that is. Life is a pile of things all at once. I have an upcoming move back across the country to move back to California, my guy is going through the medical application process, and I am overwhelmed at work, a combination together that could be potentially harmful for me in recovery. I would like to say I am constantly vigilant in recovery, but I am not, I choose to live, and live honestly, and sometimes I forget my past and it is as if I am who I am now, and not the sum of my parts and past.

This past weekend a compilation of stressors resulted in a blow up in my personal relationship with my partner. This was an argument of devastating proportions; that in the moment appeared as if it was a fight that could end the relationship. As you will remember about me, noted in previous posts, I immediately catastrophize a situation, and often in my head and body it feels literally as if the walls around me are crumbling to pieces. This is my personality, I react, I yell, often in anger with very little emotional regulation or impulse control. This is what led to my drinking and eating disordered past. I was unable in the past to respond to a situation, because in my head it was as if a force took me over, and once on a roll, the damage was life altering. I only knew how to react.

In my relationship, I have struggled in fights. I know all couples in fights are often not hearing, but just waiting to respond, and reacting in anger, hurt, pain, etc. I struggle in the aftermath as well, emotionally and physically. It literally feels as if my world has forever been altered. Maybe reading this you will think – oh she’s a drama queen, insensitive, reactive, explosive, etc. And I can’t honestly say you are wrong. I am often hot tempered and what people need to understand me is I was 3 months into this relationship when I finally started to get serious about recovery and sober. So he is the first person I have had a sober relationship with, in recovery, and I am very much a newbie in how to 1) understand what a relationship is and 2) how to communicate, build, and work on relationship struggles.

What I really wanted to share was a moment of clarity of recovery clicking without it even being forced! After this fight,  and after we left eachothers presence, I immediately cried, broke down and began to let go of all the frustration, hurt, that had been said. I was allowing myself to feel, to process and to think about what had happened, what I had said, and what the consequences could be, and how to approach a potential solution to this problem. In the middle of crying and full of puffy eyes, I had this moment of clarity and immediately when to Twitter to share:

“When I’m really struggling w/life, change & endings I’m still amazed at how my 1st instinct is no longer to drink. #sobriety

“And how I’m cooking edamame instead of looking to numb myself on food. It’s pretty amazing how a few yrs in recovery changes life”

“I’m trying to focus on those things as a positive versus only seeing the sad situation at hand. Balance out & see the big picture”

I read these tweets even now and go WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? When did it not even become a forced recovery behavior? I immediately was so proud of myself, even in the midst of crying, and so sad. It was a moment of clarity where I realized recovery had “clicked”. My instinct in a hard struggle where I used to drink, or numb with food, was no longer there. I was actually instinctually going to healthy coping skills! I often say to others I mentor and support in recovery, that things will click, and it will get easier,. That with practice, healthy coping skills will naturally occur, versus the feeling of being forced in early recovery. I understand neuroscience and how new pathways can be built with new behaviors. I just honestly hadn’t taken a moment to recognize this click in myself. All the support and words of encouragement I had been giving, actually became true in that moment. It was not mere hogwash people farther along in recovery say. It is true, with time, it is possible to change instinctual behaviors. That realization is powerful, and gives me even more hope in my own recovery process and others as well.

I am NOT saying this clicking always happens; I do have hard days, moments where I recognize emotional eating and will say out loud “I know I am emotionally eating but I will have this one piece of chocolate anyways”. And as I type that I realize how healthy that is as well, to recognize the behavior and be able to modify that away from a mindless binge where I can’t taste the food. I enjoy the piece of chocolate and savor it.

Have you experienced moments where recovery just “clicked”?

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Responses

  1. i am so happy for you and proud of you. staying true to your journey in the face of emotional upheaval is a sign of your incredible strength. thank you for sharing this.

    • Thank you Steff!!! I haven’t shared honestly about life and recovery lately and I like to share where I am at times to make sure people see life is diverse, challenging. I hope it gives hope that people can make changes in their life, and in time, they can become natural, and health can be found 🙂

  2. I read an article not that long ago where someone had a moment and said “I don’t know when it happened but…” and it was very similar to your story.

    It made me wonder what it would look like/feel like for me…would “the voice” still be there just quieter? Or totally gone? Would it be the battle to just DO the right thing even though EVERY OUNCE of me would want to fight it?

    This gives ME hope in the process as well…it says it DOES get easier, and the mind does get at least, a little quieter. Thx 🙂

    • I think these moments often went by without me noticing! And this notice of “clicking” was so funny because I was so upset, and emotional and yet having such great clarity and insight. It was almost comical the extreme emotions I was feeling. I simply wasnt RUNNING from emotion, I was RUNNING to emotion and processing. That is a huge step in recovery. And while I am sure it has been happening all along, I hadn’t really understood how instinctual the healthy response was. So thank you for reading and sharing. I am so glad to give you hope!

  3. Well once again I’m so happy to hear that people can reach recovered status and be clicking into real life rather than pro-ana sites that aid eating disorders. I hope to one day click into your world and be recovered but as for now I’ll settle for hearing your thoughts about it. Truly inspiring post.

    Reframing thoughts about situations in daily life can be so so so helpful in preventing or lessening catastrophizing. Keep it up

  4. […] favorite post. “Moments When Recovery ‘Click‘” by Kendra at Voice In […]

  5. love your blog! i follow you on twitter as well! Your post really reminded me of this great book I am currently reading, “10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make and How To Avoid Them: Simple and Sure Techniques for Gaining Greater Control of Your Life” Long title (i like to shorten it to 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make because thats the most important part) but you should really recommend it to your followers because its a great tool for recovery.


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