Over the years, my recovery and what it looks like has ebbed and flowed depending on my  needed. 

Early on, my recovery program was focused on more traditional recovery pathways. The structure, routine, and accountability of some recovery spaces helped me learn how to rest in the safety of sobriety. Later, this changed. The more sober I became, the more emotions and hidden experiences bubbled to the surface. More was needed.

I needed to dig deep into my past and patterns with the help of mental health professionals to learn more about how trauma has impacted my life. How it was impacting my day-to-day choices, responses, and reactions. I needed to explore how my mind, body and spirit are connected and how my healing needed to incorporate all three. 

As I began to broaden my pathway, I started noticing something: The more I opened myself up to multiple pathways of recovery, the more beautiful my journey became.

What are Multiple Pathways?

I love the way that the Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness (USARA) puts it. They say that “recovery is an individualized process and we support people with substance use disorders in finding a recovery path that is meaningful to them.”

Pathways of recovery can include (but aren’t limited by) these examples:

  1. Mutual Support Groups like AA, NA, Celebrate Recovery and more
  2. Peer Support and/or Recovery Coaching
  3. Mentorship
  4. Religious or Faith-based programs and support
  5. Medication-assisted Recovery
  6. Harm Reduction 

In the Rooms has a rainbow of pathways available, which makes it an incredible option for individuals who need virtual recovery support for any reason. I know for me, personally, having virtual recovery support during my pregnancy and early baby rearing days, as well as during a global pandemic, has been life-saving. 

Learning to Embrace the Journey

Since that time in early recovery when I recognized I needed more (with over a decade, I still consider myself a newcomer), I have explored other pathways. Women-specific virtual recovery support, faith-based recovery support and Bible study: all of these avenues have been like lights along my own path. 

What is more, I’ve been able to show others, through my experience, that it is okay to need more. It is okay that if you are uncomfortable in some recovery spaces to seek out other supports. It is okay not to fit into the mold of what someone else has said a person in recovery should look or be like. 

Through this journey into more, I am discovering and walking along pathways that are healing my mind and body and soul. Parts of me that were still sick, even years into addiction recovery, have opened up into something new.  

If you are feeling the call to more in your own recovery today, where would you like to begin? 

Look ahead and there just might be a pathway opening up before you, waiting for you to take the first step. 

 

Author

Caroline Beidler, MSW is an author, recovery advocate and founder of the storytelling platform Bright Story Shine. Her new book Downstairs Church: Finding Hope in the Grit of Addiction and Trauma Recovery is available anywhere you buy books. With almost 20 years in leadership within social work and ministry, she is a team writer for the Grit and Grace Project and blogger at the global recovery platform In the Rooms. Caroline lives in Tennessee with her husband and twins where she enjoys hiking in the mountains and building up her community’s local recovery ministry. Connect with her @carolinebeidler_official and https://www.facebook.com/carolinebeidlermsw

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