The Road to Recovery :: Climbing from the Pit of Addiction


woman struggling with addiction The road to addiction recovery is never a straight and narrow path. Recently, a friend of mine shared his story with me, including the struggles and challenges that he had to face to get out of that pit. He and countless others have similar stories of pain and longing for a better and healthier tomorrow, along with the joy and celebration of life when it is achieved. 

As with anything you have to start somewhere.

Many in recovery will tell you that they started at the sharp, gravelly, rock bottom. The truth is that everyone’s rock bottom looks different. One thing that is the same, though, is that once it is hit you can either climb up or give up. Climbing up sometimes involves stumbling and slipping. It involves readjusting the precarious grip on the rock that is trying to slowly slide free. Inch by slow and painful inch, the light at the top becomes more visible. You begin to feel the refreshing breath of clean air that brings hope and new life into your starved lungs.

Once the top of the pit is reached and the road to recovery stretches out before you, a new set of challenges begins.

Robert Frost Describes it perfectly in his poem The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The road to recovery is usually the one less traveled as everyone’s journey is different. Some will stumble off the path, and some will pause just a bit longer. Some, like my friend, will push on, and, when a hurdle comes, not slow down but keep going forward.

There are guides on the road, and there are obstacles.

There are those who will cheer for you and those who will jeer at you. You’ll come across those who will offer a helping hand and those who will offer temptation that will drag you backward. The trick is understanding which are your guides and which are your obstacles.

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, so, too, can seeming guides be disguised with false intentions and empty promises. True guides will support and love you until you are able to love yourself. They will be there to help carry the weight when it is too much for you to hold up on your own. These are the ones that will stay with you for forever. 

One thing that keeps you going is the hope and promise of a better tomorrow.

Every day should be taken one second, one minute, one precious moment at a time. Those on the path of recovery know just how true this is. In talking to my friend, I have found that his love of life is contagious. He has shared pictures with me that make me both weep and swell with pride in his journey. His drive to move forward, not back, is commendable and inspiring.

The stories you will hear from those who are still on the journey, but are able to finally walk in the sunlight, are truly awe inspiring. To overcome so much and still strive every day to not only do better, but to also help others, is a true strength of character. 

No matter where you are on the path of recovery, you are not alone. There are those willing to help you and see you through to the other side. Believe in yourself and how incredible you are, because, by taking that first reach up to climb out of the pit, you’ve shown yourself just how strong you are. 

As always, you’re doing amazing, and I believe in you!