Will I ever get it?

When the addict or alcoholic asks, “Will I ever get it?” We are referencing sobriety and the promises it holds. We are also describing the numerous and seemingly bottomless pitfalls of fear and shame that exist along the path to recovery and self acceptance.

If you’ve never experienced addiction or watched it up close and personal, it’s hard to wrap your head around how someone can even profess to be confused. ‘Cuz it’s simple right? Just stop drinking. Just stop using.

Sure – it’s chemical dependency. It’s detox and maybe rehab and maybe counseling. It’s AA and it’s NA and it’s learning how to live clean and sober. There’s just one more little piece to it:

“We found the only thing we needed to change was everything.”

Imagine doing that. “Normal” people don’t do that. Mainstream, everyday people don’t do that. Ever. No one would – until accepting that it they must.

The road between knowing and accepting is a dark valley filled with suffering.

We change because we get sick and tired of being sick and tired.

We come to do battle with a disease. We fight something within ourselves without being self destructive. Gradually, we’re confronted with everything we’ve been running from. Our demons are everything we’re afraid to remember. They’re everything we hide and every bit of shame that existed before we took the first drink/fix.

This is not easy.

It sucks and it hurts and it’s harder than hell and above all, it cannot be done alone.

I love talking about “It”

When we’re talking about “It”, we’re talking about Life, the Universe, and Everything that really Matters.

It took me a long time to realize what “It” was, like when I used to say:

“F it.” or “I don’t get it.” or “It’s not worth it.”

It = me.

I didn’t know how wrong I was. Until I knew, I couldn’t change.

I only knew what not to do. I only knew what wasn’t true. I needed instructions for how to do life but moreover I needed to know who the hell I was?

Even when I knew what to do, I didn’t believe that I could. And even when I did it, I didn’t believe I could keep it up and even when I kept it up, I didn’t know how not to believe that I wouldn’t F it up sooner or later.

It takes faith to recover. (from anything). Only when I let people believe in me and accepted that they did, did I come to have a seed of doubt that maybe, just maybe, there was hope for a person like me.

I get to give what was given to me. It’s more than paying it forward. It’s a lifestyle. I believe in people who do not believe in themselves and I ask them not to necessarily agree with me but to “Just believe that I believe.”

As a therapist, I borrow liberally from Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous because they’re the two best pathways I’ve found to spiritual transformation. I recommend their programs to people who have never experienced addiction because I have found that recovery from anything a person survives necessitates spiritual growth.

The hardest thing to believe, accept, and honor…is ourselves.

I’ll never try to convince you that there’s a God. I’ll just do my best to show you by example that really, really fucked up people get better and the more kindred spirits we attract, the more we all get it.

It = a life “second to none.”

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.