What Is Hurricane Sandy Teaching Us About Recovery?

Chairs with Sailboat Sunrise

What Is Hurricane Sandy Teaching Us About Recovery? Good question. Let’s take a look.

We all know that this storm has devastated countless lives, destroyed property, and stolen the security of hearth and home from many.  The sense of the familiar, and the comfort of routine are gone. All this has been replaced with clearing away the wreckage, taking stock of what remains, and then, rebuilding. As a country, we will begin rebuilding homes, families, communities, friendships, and lives. We will seek to regain and renew our sense of purpose, and the security we once knew. There will be times we will have to put whatever reservations and difficulties we may have with our neighbors aside, and work together for the common good.

For those of us involved in addiction recovery, all this should sound eerily familiar. Our addiction brought us to varying degrees of destruction. We had damaged our reputation, our relationships; lost our homes and families, and in a twisted sick way, our routine and sense of “normalcy” (as we envisioned normal to be within the context of the twisted existence we were living). Comfort in the familiar, and our sense of security, were gone once we hit bottom. We had to begin anew. We had to assess the damage, see what was salvageable, and then, begin to rebuild our lives starting with ourselves first. We had to reassess things we believed to be stable and unshakable, and determine how to approach them anew. We had to cultivate healthy and productive habits and approaches to solving problems instead of procrastinating, or feigning that they didn’t exist. This rebuilding required education, training, and often, cooperation with those that we previously would not have trusted or worked with at all.

Just as we have learned to do these things and worked tirelessly to maintain our hard-won progress, the country is in the process of doing these same things. Already we see differences put aside and people working together for the common good. Already we see a recognition that old ways must change and long-held beliefs must be examined, and possibly abandoned. Mostly, we see working toward renewal and rebuilding, with a firm determination and sense of purpose.

Isn’t that what recovery is all about?

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