Retro Recovery: Opening Up

Recovery Retro

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

Published 12/06/2016 at 6:55 a.m. – Day 46 of Treatment

So…any of you who have been following me on the regular know of some of my struggles here in the VA Treatment community.  Things that have developed and were seemingly keeping me from an approval to go to the 3 month Work VA Program:  The Incidents  Confused  Are you Kidding?

Well last night I got the good news that I have been accepted to the 3 month program!  So there’s that.  I will be leaving sometime this week from this 6 week program with around 17 guys, to a 3 month program with over 50.  I am both hopeful and anxious.

I have to make this thing work.  I have to get outside of my head and trust in the process.  I have to be the bigger man and make amends with the dude who started some of the problems.  Yes, they kicked him out of here, but they let him go there.  I have to go outside myself let that stuff go.  I need to move forward.


It isn’t easy for me to open up to people.  I mean, it is here because I am sure you all know, this is a bit different from actual face to face interactions.  There is a safe veil from which I can reach out to you.  I can be brutally honest and brutally real and I don’t feel condemned for it, because many of you have been there or at least are kind of “like-minded.”

Does that make sense?  I see our community as a loving place.  I see our community as a trusting place.  We share common ground whether through our struggles, our pain, our shared experiences.  I don’t get that from this community of Veterans.  I feel as though I can’t be my real and true self.  But I have to start trying.

Today I will let my guard down.  Today I will reach my hand out in fellowship and begin to trust.  I have to build interpersonal relationships if I am to “make it” in the “real” world.  My biggest struggle is not staying sober.  My biggest struggle is letting go the character flaws that keep me imprisoned away from others.  The judging, the fear, the apprehension, the fear of rejection…etc, etc.

Today I am going to come from a place of lovingkindness.  A place that allows me to be with people on equal footing.  Without condemnation, without fear of the end results.  I have to stop being fearful of the results of my interacts and just be.

One comment

  • Progress, not perfection. Just keep working at it. Sooner or later we all realize what someone else thinks is on them, not you. Military life isn’t exactly structured that way, though, so it would be hard to break the norms of military life with military people.

I'd Love To Hear Your Comments!