Friday, November 14, 2014

Out of the Woods--This Weekend in Vermont

I am on my way to The Wilson House in East Dorset, Vermont today for our first retreat based on my new book, "Out of the Woods." I'm very excited to be teaching and learning, and meeting women from across the Northeast. Here is why I wrote the book and why I am soooo passionate about this topic:

In Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve-step programs newcomers are often consoled by being told, “It can take three to five years to get out of the woods.” But later, at the five-year mark, after maintaining abstinence and after many meetings and working the steps, many of us realize that it has actually taken that long just to get into the woods.

It is there, to continue the woodsy metaphor, that we begin to recognize the trees as trees and to know the creatures of the “forest” for what they are.

We continue on though and long-term recovery begins to take hold. Gradually there is a sensation of coming out of the woods: the sense that we really have changed, that there is some stability and we are really new people. Of course we are not “fixed” and certainly not perfect, but in double-digit recovery another life begins.

But then recovery continues and we see that after more years it takes yet another turn. There is a noticeable shift in the pace and focus of recovery. This can be baffling to people around us who are “younger” in recovery, and it can also be puzzling to those who have reached a ten-plus year milestone:

What does it mean that I go to fewer meetings? Why am I spending more time on other projects than I spend on the program? Is my commitment to a new relationship or a new career good or bad? And what does it mean to be a recovering woman in double-digit sobriety? What happens to our bodies, our relationships, our programs and our spiritual lives?

That is why I wrote this book, “Out of the Woods” and why I am so happy to speak and teach and lead this retreat on long-term recovery.  We have so much to learn from each other, and much to teach each other-- and other women. There really is a life of joyous recovery after ten and 20 and 30 years.

Here is more about why I wrote this book:

1 comment:

Gregg said...

Beautiful. So glad for you and Out of The Woods.