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Recovery blog

What does recovery look like in the real world

By: Ashley Vicari, NCC, LPC, The Renfrew Center of Nashville

Posted on February 18, 2019

I hear this question over and over again from patients at every stage of their journey. The truth is, "recovery" can feel so far away that it might feel challenging to even grasp the idea that you could be there one day.

I remember being a total theater geek in school and how overwhelming the process of putting on a show felt to me. There were try-outs, dry reads, staging, building the set and then. over the course of 2 short months, our small little stage would transform into the magical land of Oz or the jungle where Simba and Nala played. We would all learn our lines, our cues, our steps, our interactions with one another, our dances, and our songs. We would stay after school to paint the set and practice our lines with one another until the early hours of the morning. And, surely, that which seemed impossible came to life and, before I knew it, it would be closing night and the play would be a thing of the past.

Just like the play, Recovery can feel very overwhelming and distant at times. It may feel like it will never actually happen, but then you reach a point where you look up and all your hard work has paid off. The curtain is closing, you feel freer and ready to begin the next season of your life. The work you are doing now matters. The stage cues (skills) you are being taught and the lines (reappraisals) you are learning now will do nothing but assist you in your role. Your community also matters. Relying on others for support is critical to your role. Who is the best supporting actor/actress in your life? How have you been able to get vulnerable with them and speak your needs? Lastly, who hasn't said the wrong line, read the wrong cue, or made the wrong step on stage before? In this thing called Recovery, it is certain that you will misstep, more than once or twice or more. Does that mean the whole show is over? Absolutely not. In theater when we misstep, we take a deep breath and start again.

So, take that deep breath, find your cues, give yourself a kind word and take the stage. You've got this!

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