One of our greatest misconceptions around recovery is that we need something outside of ourselves in order to heal. We think we are dependent upon doctors, therapists, sponsors and treatment centers to get well, and although these are all extremely helpful along our journey, they aren’t the ones responsible for our healing, we are. They don’t do the work for us. We do the work, internally, within ourselves. In order to be successful in our recovery, we can’t depend on other people to save us. We can’t look to other people to do our work for us or to take responsibility for our well-being. The motivation to get well, and the responsibility to recover, belong to us. Our healing is authentic and true when we make this realization and take ownership of our recovery instead of looking to someone else to pick up the pieces for us.
We get into patterns of codependence where we rely on other people, whether they’re family members, friends or partners, to cope with our lives. We sometimes use them to make us feel better about ourselves, instead of going inward to repair our self-esteem for ourselves. We allow people to enable us, by taking on the responsibility for our recovery, by blaming themselves for our addictions, and by doing a lot of the groundwork it takes in order to heal, such as finding a therapist or treatment center for us. We start to think that we aren’t capable of healing ourselves, that we need other people to heal us, and that we don’t have the strength and power within ourselves that we need to get better.
Over time we learn that everything we need in order to heal is within us. All of the resources and tools we need we already possess. What other people do for us, our loved ones, our doctors, sponsors and therapists, is help us to bring these resources to life. They help us to see our strength, our resilience and our capacity for transformation. They help bring them out of us. They help us to realize that we already possess them, and they help us to strengthen them, but they’re not doing the actual healing work for us. We alone must do that work for ourselves. Can we heal ourselves? Yes, we can. Receiving help and support is an important part of the recovery process, but we have to know and believe that we possess the power to heal ourselves.