from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davis

Recovery: Life Happens on the Other Side of the Wall

By: Aaron Lebold

“The more you hide, the higher the walls around you gets. The more you cry in silence, the thicker it becomes.” ― Akshay Vasu


Trapped Behind the Walls

Hindsight is an extraordinary thing.  When I look back on my life, and reflect on all the fears and worries I had about recovery, I often wonder what took me so long to commit to a better life, and periodically wonder what my reality may have looked like if I had begun the process sooner.  I don’t spend a lot of time with regret, as there is no going back, but it is within my control to try my best to help others who are still struggling today.

When I was in active addiction, it felt like I was trapped behind a giant wall that was seemingly insurmountable.  I knew that the only way to make my life any better was to somehow get past this wall.  Fear, self-doubt, and my way of thinking, all posed as further obstacles I needed to face before even setting foot on its foundation.

Can I Break Through this Wall?


from addict 2 advocateFor years I paced up and down the base of this wall, determined to find an alternative way to get around it.  Maybe there was a hole somewhere I could sneak through, or a tunnel dug underneath.  It is only when I realized that the only way was to climb, that I could truly prepare myself for the journey ahead of me, and the challenges I would face.

There is no way to see exactly what is on the other side, so the first thing I needed to do was convince myself that it was going to be worth all the effort. For me what this looked like was finding a purpose.  I wanted to help others, but I knew I couldn’t do that from my side of the wall. This fueled me to push forward, and helped me stay motivated on my quest to conquer the seemingly impossible roadblock. 

from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davisIs There Anything Beyond this Wall?

The next thing I needed was a bit of blind faith.  I had to believe that things were going to work out, and something was protecting me and showing me where to put my feet as I began to climb. It also helped to have support when I started the climb. I had encouragement from my girlfriend, who has since become my wife.

The process of climbing that wall was probably one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  Challenging thoughts and perceptions is draining, withdrawals almost made me give up, and leaving my comfort zone created anxiety and uncertainty. I realized that I was trapped inside my mind as much as I was trapped by my addiction.

Despite these challenges, I continued to climb, even when I had no frame of reference, and had no idea how much further I had to go.

Climbing that wall will always be my greatest accomplishment.  I have done a lot of things that I am proud of since making that journey, but if I had never committed to that wall, none of them would could happen. Everything I have today, I owe to the decision I made to make that first step, and get out of active addiction

from addict 2 advocate marilyn l davisAre You Still Trapped?

If you are finding yourself pacing the wall, looking for an easier way around it, please understand that the hard way is well worth it.  Have some faith, get some support, and find your motivation, and even if it is the hardest thing you’ve ever done, you can get there. 

Some people pace back and forth at the base of that wall for years and some ultimately die looking for an easier way. There is no easy way, you need to face this wall, and give it everything you have.

“The more you hide, the higher the walls around you gets. The more you cry in silence, the thicker it becomes.” ― Akshay Vasu

Sometimes people slip and fall while trying to climb, and sometimes this discourages them from getting back up and trying again.  Those of us who are on the top, and can see how beautiful it is on the other side need to be encouraging people as best we can who are struggling in their efforts.  Remember that a little encouragement can go a long way, and maybe even save someone from falling.  

“It was times like these when a man in a desperate situation must take whatever madness is offered to escape the darker madness in which he finds himself trapped.” ― Sean F. Hogan, Painting Angels

Life does move on after you enter recovery, and there will be more walls to be climbed.  The difference is once you get past that first one, you have acquired the skills to do so, as well as the confidence that you can do it again.  Any wall you will face in the future will feel a lot smaller, and a lot less intimidating.  You are worth the climb, and once you do it you can experience its rewards for yourself


Writing, and recovery heals the heart

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