There’s only one question I ever ask myself when I’m making something new for my websites, or a collaboration with someone else, or for a newspaper or TV channel or what have you:
Would this have helped me back when I needed it?
If the answer if yes? Then I crack on with it. If it’s no? I drop it and move on to something different.
When I started talking about Recovery, I started with the concept of physical recovery. Bodily recovery. I was still in the fog of it. Still trying to get my life together. And everything was hard. Every minute of every day was harder than I could ever have put into words.
I went away recently. I needed to some thinking and to do that I needed space and London is wonderful for many things but space is not one of them. I sat with myself and asked myself what it was I needed to change.
The answer was fairly simple in the end:
Eliminate the struggle
Because I had spent years struggling, and because people identified with the struggle, it felt like the logical thing to keep doing. Keep the struggle alive. Talk about it. Justify it. I talked about it everywhere. And it is wasn’t a mistake. It helped enough people at the time.
But it can only take us so far.
I stopped talking about the physical aspect of my recovery. I knew I had nothing left to give there. I spent years of my life documenting it and talking about it. It’s done now. I can’t add any more. It’s over. If people benefit from the old stuff I write then that’s great, but I won’t be revisiting it.
It had gotten to the point where I felt like I was dragging the past around with me. And it was too heavy a burden to carry. It wasn’t doing any good. I think sometimes you just have to trust that people will find what you’ve left for them, in their own way and in their own time. I think that constantly trying to pull people out of the dark just resulted in me spending my time sitting in darkness again.
Whilst I was away I realised I’ve been doing exactly the same thing with Addiction Recovery. Sitting in the darkness with folk. Telling them it was a struggle. Dragging the sad old stories around with me. Airing them for the benefit of the ones who still want to feel sad & still want it to be hard.
I made a lot of choices whilst I was away. The biggest one is the way I talk about Recovery Now. Things are going to be very different around here from now on. In the way I present stuff & the mediums I use to do it in.
Basically any concept of struggle of difficulty will be noticeably absent
The physical recovery website has been shut down. Everything is going on here for now until it becomes more apparent where I should move it to permanently. The people I work with are also going to be very different. That will become more apparent as we go along.
Probably most important for you, the way I answer questions will be very different. The information I present will be totally different. The perspective definitely won’t be the same.
When I look back at the past few years I can now see so clearly the bits of recovery I’ve left out. And they are most likely because I didn’t know how to articulate them. And that’s most likely because I was still carrying an element of struggle around with me. Which I’ve stopped doing now, so I guess everything in my life has had to change to reflect that.
So please bear with me whilst I give this place a bit of a makeover. I’m really excited to share with you the fun, easy aspects of recovery. I hope you are too x