Hello Recovery Friends and New Ones,
“I am happy and honored to welcome Marc Azoulay to my recovery blog. He has written an article about recovery and healing. We happened to meet over on Twitter and seemed we both have a lot in common as helping others. He was nice enough to offer this blog share article for me to share with all you! I will share a wee bit more about Marc, but first let’s read this fantastic post.”
What is Recovery: Healing an Invisible Wound ~
Marc Azoulay March 20, 2016
One of the questions I ask during my intakes with new clients is “when will you know that therapy is complete? When will you have been healed?” I do this to get a sense of their goals and the changes that they’d like to make; I ask them to imagine a future where they don’t need me and can support themselves. Most clients answer with something along the lines of “when I’m no longer using drugs,” or “when I can be happy again.” Noble goals for sure, and usually much more complicated than they sound.
I find myself asking the question now: What does it mean to heal?
And, you know, I’m not so sure I know the answer to that. Personally, I’ve been in therapy for eight years, I’ve gotten sober, worked out many of my harmful behaviors, delved deeply into my past, and build a stronger relationship with the ones that I love. But I don’t know if I’ve “recovered,” I still have hard days, and I still act out and hurt others.
One of the most challenging parts of this process is that it is mostly invisible. Others rarely see the struggle that we go through. They are unaware of the daily battle that goes on in our heads. They don’t see the long nights and lonely moments when we dip a toe into hopelessness. This is a deeply personal quest. It behooves us to surround ourselves with allies and healers, but we have to take every single step ourselves. This can get so exhausting.
We want to heal, but it can be challenging to recognize when we’ve gotten there. Those in the recovery community know the term dry drunk, a person who is so committed to sobriety that their life, in a way, is still about alcohol. These people cling onto their sobriety like a badge of honor and build their whole reality around it. Of course, for many this has been life saving, but I wonder: have they truly recovered? Have they moved on from their past? It’s hard for me to believe.
Many of use create our identities out of our pain. We use our wounds as shields that separate us from others. We push others away, but we feel as though they can never understand us. This is an illusion. We are just not that special. Perhaps the last step in recovery is letting go of the idea that we have a problem.
Perhaps recovery means embracing our humility. Realizing perhaps we are just like everyone else. That’s a hard one to swallow: being ordinary. Learning to enjoy the little moments in life: a sunset, a cup of tea, or sitting in traffic.
Maybe, recovery lays in the mundane?
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About Marc Azoulay MA, LPCC, LAC
I believe that substance abuse is not a problem, but a symptom. In treatment, I aim to work with my clients to discover the underlying root of their patterns of use. I’ve noticed that once the core need gets addressed problematic use just falls away. I provide a mindfulness-based approach to psychotherapy. With my clients, I focus on developing emotional literacy and body-mind awareness. I encourage my clients to tap into their moment-to-moment experience as we cannot begin to work with ourselves if we do not know what we have to work with.I specialize in working with addictions, grief, and social anxiety.
Prior to entering private practice, I worked at Rangeview Counseling Center, a substance abuse treatment center that focuses on clients with legal troubles. I was blown away by the dedication and passion that my clients had for the work. I witnessed countless acts of compassion and healing. Prior to that, I worked at Halcyon Hospice and the Wild Plum Center, a therapeutic preschool. Spending time with the children and the dying opened my eyes to the breadth of human experience.
My goal is to help clients recognize how to care for themselves in mind, body, and spirit and to develop a playful curiosity towards their internal experience.
You deserve It.
Please visit Marc’s website and Follow him on Twitter @MokshaMarc