I am not an expert in sobriety but I have found support in the 12 step program, Alanon, as well as extensive counseling. Additionally, I have had the joy of watching family members successfully and continually work a 12 step program to achieve and maintain their sobriety.
I lay in bed after extensive hip surgery and it got me thinking. Is it possible to parallel a 12 step program/lifestyle to a physical recovery? I believe the answer is…yes.
I suffered debilitating hip pain for two years and received several misdiagnoses (one of which included uncontrolled anxiety/chronic pain)! I became powerless over my pain, my quality of life deteriorated drastically, and my much needed sleep was a distant memory. I did not want to accept the fact that I was powerless over my situation and that I could not manage and fix this problem. But for quite some time, I too, was forced to believe that maybe this WAS in my head and this is what the medical field means by chronic pain brought on by uncontrolled anxiety.
ODAT page 144
The first step prepares us for a new life which we can achieve only by letting go of what we cannot control, and by undertaking one day at a time the monumental task of setting our world in order through a change in our own thinking. I will dedicate myself to managing my own life and only mine.
So I dedicated myself to finding answers in hopes of improving my quality of life. I wouldn’t accept the diagnosis and searched for a Dr. who would believe me. I chose to live one day at a time. And that truly did help me get through the days and weeks! I believe in a higher power, prayed to that higher power, and continually asked for help and guidance. In turn, I was given answers to my physical pain and offered a solution with hip surgery.
The parallelism of a 12 step program and a physical recovery from an injury isn’t a perfect one and I don’t claim them to be. But I can tell you, there are similarities. Eye opening acceptance, lessons in humility as your husband bathes you, a commitment in achieving wellness, willingness to keep pursuing and investing in your health. And a continued vigilance and attunement in a higher power.
It will be a long recovery. Four weeks on a walker, a hip brace and extensive physical therapy. 4-6 month full recovery time. I feel sorry for myself at times. Then I pick myself back up and keep going. Just like many of you, in recovery, I am living my life one day at a time. And on really bad days….
one step at a time.