Taking Control

There’s this point after everything has fallen apart. This point where we have surrendered control of our very lives. Others make all our decisions for us. We’re told what to do, where to go, when to do this or that, take this, get up, come with me, tell him or her what you’re thinking, if you don’t I will… It’s at that point where hope, even if we saw it for a moment, becomes a completely foreign concept. It’s that point where we look around and say to ourselves, “What the hell is happening?”

One thing about recovery that someone who hasn’t been through it never truly understands is that it isn’t a straight line. There are a lot of points where we just want to give up because it’s easy to lose sight of the hope that got us through that moment. Especially when we aren’t given the chance to make even the most basic decisions for ourselves. Why the hell should I do all this hard work trying to recover when you won’t let me decide what to have for breakfast?! People trying to help often forget that this is about us. Nothing about us without us is a core concept in the recovery movement. They love us, they mean well, they’re trying to do what they think is best for us.

What they think…

What do you think?

What do you want?

What do you need?

Those questions aren’t asked because a lot of the time when we are first asked them we don’t know, so we don’t answer. That is perfectly fine. Just because we didn’t know then doesn’t mean we don’t know now. We just have to speak up.

Yes, that is easier said than done; but it can be done.

A great place to start is by making a list. Write down what you think or how you’re feeling. Write down what you want and need. Write down what is NOT helping or things you just don’t want. Write it down. Give it to whoever is helping you. Give it to your Doctor. Let your written words be your voice.

You will find your voice. I promise you that. And when you do some people are going to be shocked but it’s a good thing.

The very first time you use your voice, no matter how small of a situation it may seem, you’re taking control of yourself, your situation, your life. Once you start it gets easier. You may still need help and support. I’m years into recovery and I still need help and support more often than you’d think. It’s perfectly fine. The difference is the people I have helping and supporting me know what think, feel, want, and need. They also know what can hurt or what doesn’t work at all.

Try it.

Pick out one thing that you’re thinking or feeling, that you want, that you need, just one thing. Write it down and give it to someone. Tell someone if you feel you can. Text it. Post it on social media. No one will know that one thing until you tell them. That feeling you get afterwards, that’s a little bit of control coming back to you.

On that note. I want a hot cup of coffee and I need to take a quick shower. Ok that was two, but you get the point.