Recovering from Recovery: An Interview with a Recovery Blogger

image of man blogging about his recovery from alcoholThe online recovery community has exploded in the last decade with several resources, from apps to forums to blogs. These resources have become integral to the recovery process for millions of people affected by addiction.

Over the next few months, we will be interviewing some of the top-rated recovery bloggers of 2018. These bloggers play a special role in the online recovery community. Not only do they give voice to those affected by addiction, they also provide a way for individuals to connect during their own recovery process.

Our hats are off to the brave men and women who, by writing publicly, break the stigma of addiction, encourage unity amongst those affected by addiction, and provide a place for people to connect, inspire, and heal.

Our first featured top recovery blogger is Mike, of Recovering from Recovery. Nothing short of dedicated, raw, and real, Mike posts about his musings on recovery from alcohol addiction.

Originally born from his desire to find a recovery path that didn’t include the 12 steps, Mike’s blog offers insight into alternative approaches, including non-12-step support groups, resources, and literature.

While he recognizes the value of the 12-step community, he has joined the ranks of many others who have set out to find their own path. Below is a printed version of his interview, posted with permission.

PR: What is the best part about being in recovery from addiction?

M: There are many great things about being in recovery. I am now in my 12th year of continuous absenteeism from alcohol and my mental and physical health is so much stronger than when I was abusing alcohol.  I am much more level headed and can deal with life so much easier than before. I am much more confident. I tend to mix with much more positive and interesting people than I did when I was getting drunk. People react to me in a much better way and I am respected rather than avoided. I no longer suffer from serious depression, just a few ups and downs.

PR: What is the most challenging part?

M: It was really challenging at the start, as it was almost like learning to live life in a different way without the crutch I had used for 25 years. Thankfully it is easier now but there is still the occasional trigger, such as unusual stressful situations, so it is important not to be complacent about recovery. I had a lot of CBT style counseling which really helped me deal with life.

PR: Has recovery gotten easier?

M: It has for me, but I still take it seriously and keep in touch with others in recovery. I have seen other people with multiple years become nonchalant, and end up in trouble. I find it helpful to occasionally reflect on how bad things got as a reminder, although I am not constantly working on recovery, which I had to do in the first few years.

PR: What is the worst advice you’ve gotten about getting into/being in recovery?

M: I was told that AA was the only way and it is not. I have seen The Sinclair Method and Smart Recovery really help people.  There are other groups as well, which provide more modern approaches.

I was told that taking antidepressants meant I was not sober, as they changed the way I feel, by an AA Big Book Thumper, who wanted me to pray myself well. I prefer the advice of doctors over members of a recovery group when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

PR: What is the best advice you’ve received about being in recovery?

M: I think it is important to take responsibility for your own recovery and try as many solutions as possible and find what works for you. Be prepared to modify your approach over time. I read as many books on the subject as possible and discussed things with medical professionals when I needed to.

PR: What would you like to share with others who are just starting their journey?

M: Make Recovery your priority at the start and try and find a support network that suits you. Hang out with sober people who can give advice and explore the advantages of harm reduction solutions such as The Sinclair Method along with abstinence-based solutions. If things don’t go according to plan, have a look at why that happened and modify your approach.

We want to give Mike a heartfelt thank you for taking the time to interview with us. In addition, we are grateful for his selfless commitment to be a source of support, information, and raw honesty for those who are affected by addiction.

Keep up the great work, Mike and please keep writing!

If you or a loved one are curious about non 12 step addiction treatment, please give us a call.