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“When I came here, I wanted to get better for my kids & husband.”

Jul 2, 2018Addiction, Alcoholism, Mental Health, Recovery, Shamanism

“When I came here, I wanted to get better for my kids & husband. Now I want to get better for me.”

Meet one of my new favorite women. You can’t actually meet her, given that I’m not going to share her name or story, but trust me when I say she’s awesome.

In this particular moment, she’s sharing what’s changed for her over the last 12 days. We’re wrapping up a retreat outside of Cuenca, Ecuador & preparing to part ways. And I’m grinning at her words.

I’m writing about her because of a belief I hold very, very dear: it does not matter what motivates you to alleviate your suffering. It just matters that you do something.

Hopefully some of you are reading this & thinking, “Duh.” But I reckon there are a few who aren’t. Because I meet a lot of people who argue that “you have to want to get better for you.”

My problem with that argument is twofold. One: a lot of people who need help the most do not care about themselves in the slightest. Why would they want to get better for themselves when they could care less about their lives? Two: it contradicts my own experience.

Do you know why I first sought help for alcoholism? I was about to lose yet another job over my drinking & I needed a doctor’s note.

Do you know what else was going on? I was standing over my sink, drinking, vomiting it up & continuing to drink & vomit until my body would hold down the alcohol I needed.

I didn’t see that as the problem though; that was just a fact of my existence. The real problem was the job thing. And, as you may be able to guess, I didn’t get sober right away. But seeking help, even for the “wrong” reason, started me on the path to recovery.

So I’m pretty darn excited that my new friend showed up. That wanting to get better for her kids & husband motivated her. And that now she wants it for herself.

A step down the path is a step down the path. That’s all it takes to start…”right” reasons or “wrong.