We enter recovery after we have lost something. The definition of recovery:
- The action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
- A return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength.
I entered recovery Dec 1, 2012. It’s not that I hadn’t been in search of recovery resources prior to that day or spent thousands of dollars on marriage therapy or his therapy … because I had. But that was the day I finally started to get specialized help for myself. It was a defining day in my life. It’s the day I entered my first S-Anon meeting. S-Anon is for relatives or friends of sexually addicted people. After the meeting I told someone in the group that I heard I should go to individual therapy but I can’t afford to. Her response to me was, “you can’t afford not to”. She handed me the card of her therapist, Mari Lee, CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist). I was in Mari’s office the next week and began individual and group therapy.
Mari is one of the authors of Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts. She helped me recover things I wasn’t aware I had lost (safety, boundaries, thoughtful action, self confidence). I have much respect and admiration for Mari. During our first session, Mari told me there are “gifts in the wound“. She repeated this often. It was hard to hear, but over time this became a comfort and mantra. I started to look for gifts and I started to see them.
One of the amazing gifts are the beautiful men and women I meet along the way that are also in recovery. I have a plethora of new friends around the globe because of the gift of recovery. When we find each other, we find healing. We find strength. We call forth the best in one another and encourage each other to press on. We admire the courage, the bravery, the fight. We are over comers. We are warriors.
In recovery, we heal from trauma. We need safe spaces and people in order to recover… i.e. no judgement zones. That’s why support groups are amazing!
Dorit Reichental MA, MFTi, ACC, CSAT-2 states, “There is nothing inherently wrong with partners. They have been betrayed, lied to, and traumatized. At the February 2014 IITAP conference, relationship specialist Julie Gottman stated that, ‘100% of betrayed partners experience symptoms of PTSD.’ If a partner’s trauma is not appropriately treated the symptoms will worsen overtime.”
My need for recovery continues. In fact, I joined a support group led by an APSATS trained certified life coach just last week. I am one of 6 women in this call in group. Though we reside in different parts of the country, we journey together for 10 weeks. During the first meeting we shared our stories. For some, it is a truth rarely disclosed to anyone else. Now… to complete strangers… we speak our truth… and trust that in doing so we heal our pain.