Communication is Key
May 22, 2012
Communication is key. When people call into the line I do service on, when we phone each other, or meet in person to share our stories — that’s an act of communication, a healthy reaching-out in recovery. When I do work on the hotline, when I listen to my sponsor’s stories, when I heed my therapist’s advice, I’m taking new information in; I’m no longer in isolation or denial as I was in active addiction. These acts of reciprocity — listening and sharing — build up our program’s foundation; they are the tools by which we can work our way out of the thrall of addiction. In my program, I call and text a lot. I ask to vent, I request feedback and actively listen to it.
Communication is key. By hearing my wife’s hurt and pain caused by my acting out and not resorting to my anger or defensiveness, I open up yet another opportunity for clarity and healing in our relationship. It’s not that either of us communicates perfectly, but we are both learning that relationships, especially one with a history of addiction, take a lot of work. And while healthy arguments are exactly that — healthy — vitriol and defensiveness are not. We are both working on communicating our concerns, our needs, and our love for one another in a more honest, intimate, and healthy way.
Communication is key, because it is the opposite of the toxic isolation which so marks my pattern of addiction. Believing I was alone in this addiction, I hid away for years at a time, repeating the same actions and belief patterns. I thought that I was alone and I was afraid of my deficiencies, so the cyclical acting-out ran unabated for years. But I now have the tools and the means to communicate my feelings, my concerns, my joys, and my sorrows in recovery so much better than ever before. I have my many means of communication, I have my recovery texts, I have my friends in fellowship, and I have the support of my wife. I no longer can nor want to hide in the shadow of my addiction. I want to speak on it and, in doing so, help rid myself of the fear and isolation which prolonged my acting out for years. That is why healthy communication is key.