When did you know you wanted to recover more than anything else?
Question: Do you remember the moment in which you knew you were done and wanted to recover more than anything else? What brought you to that moment?
Thank you for this wonderful question. To be honest, this is probably one of the most common questions I’ve been asked throughout my recovery. Looking back, I have experienced several defining moments throughout my recovery process, many of which brought me to a new level of understanding. Most moments, unfortunately, became just that—a “moment.” The motivation to continue was constantly overpowered by my personal disease and controlled by my addiction, ending always the same with a relapse. Most of the time, I wanted to be sober and desired a life in recovery; I just didn’t know how to stay motivated long enough to find that.
When I first got sober in 2014, I had absolutely no idea how long I would last and what my purpose was in this world. One of the most influential moments I can remember was right after I was released from prison and living in a residential program. All residents were required to attend a candlelight vigil for those who had lost their battle with substance abuse. Feeling completely broken, insecure, and totally lost, I remember looking around at all the families crying as their loved ones’ names were read off the list. Looking at the faces of people whom I had known, and whom I had been friends with at one point in time, I began wishing it was me who had died and not them. Selfishly, I questioned why I was still alive. After the names were read, a speaker came on stage to share some of his poetry. I was surprised to realize I knew the speaker and had grown up with him. My focus instantly shifted to his poetry, and I admired his courage to speak of his pain in such a way that allowed the crowd to understand. I remember feeling inspired in a way I hadn’t been before but also ashamed, hoping he wouldn’t see me. Once off the stage, he walked right over to say hello, expressing his happiness that I was receiving help. After talking for a little bit, he left me with words of hope. He said, “Keri, I promise you if you stick this out, one day you’ll be standing right here, speaking your story, and helping others. I’ll do whatever I can to help you find a job and get you involved in community work like this. Please just don’t give up! We are losing everyone.”
I received hope in that moment! For the first time, I believed that maybe, if I just continued and didn’t give up, my life would possibly become better. That was the moment I began to believe recovery could be possible. I became motivated and began to look forward, focusing on where I was going opposed to constantly looking back. I began to believe I had a purpose. Although I had learned something from each previous attempt at sobriety, this moment gave me a reason to continue even during the toughest times, when I felt like giving up. The poet kept his promise, guiding and teaching me throughout the last five years. Eventually, I worked side by side with him in the community, sharing my experience and sharing the message of hope. His encouragement that day marked the moment I began to want something more than my drug.
Sometimes we don’t realize the impact our words of encouragement have on others. Keeping encouraging, Mom!
A Daughter’s Perspective
Disclaimer: The above advice is not meant to be construed as medical or legal advice. If you need professional medical, psychological, or legal advice, please contact a doctor, lawyer, or medical center.
Keriann Caccavaro is a recovery coach, drug court advocate, and woman in long term recovery helping to support people struggling with addiction and their families. You can learn more about her on LinkedIn or Facebook.
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