In the metaphysical world there
is mention of a silver cord. It keeps you tethered to your physical
earthly body while you roam about on the spiritual plane. Some mystics
also refer to it as a sort of spiritual umbilical cord that keeps your
soul and body connected.
When I think of recovery the silver cord that keeps me tethered to my physical body
is connection. The matrix or fabric of this connection is a myriad of my fellow
peers in recovery, AA meetings, counseling, the 12 steps, sponsorship,
literature, and service to others to name a few.
Abraham Maslow, a famed
psychologist, known for his theory on self-actualization described a hierarchy of
needs. The third level of need is "love and belonging", which are
psychological needs; when individuals have taken care of themselves physically,
they are ready to share themselves with others, such as with family and
No man or woman should be an
island. We are meant to be interconnected, and not isolated and remote
from others. Because addiction is a disease of isolation, it is important
to establish a strong support system in recovery.
Prior to my recovery, I ran a
one-woman show. I thought I didn’t need anyone to help me nor did I have a thought
of asking for assistance.
My childhood environment was
chaotic to say the least. I believe that shaped me to strive for control, to smooth
the waters whenever possible, and to “fix” things even before they were broken.
I never knew when things were going to erupt. Through the years this
survival tool served me well. I could always count on myself, and I developed a
resilience to life where I could always pick myself up, dust myself off, and
start all over again.
The consequence of this mechanism
was social isolation, non-trust of life and others, and never feeling or
thinking I belonged or fit in. The cracks started to show. My life was
adversely affected as those needs of love and connection were not met. Life
suffered, relationships suffered, including the relationship within myself.
There was a big disconnect and addiction attempted to fill that space.
Addiction is the party of one.
In recovery I was shown through
the AA program, the 12 steps, meetings, sponsorship, and service to others how
to re-connect to life and people. This allowed me to empower myself and those
around me. I remembered how to inspire others again, and how to take
big deep breaths of gratitude, and fulfillment.
I was longing for connection in
both my addiction and in my recovery. In addiction the connections were
determined primarily by drugs and alcohol. In recovery my connections came from
AA meetings, the 12 steps, the peers who supported me on my journey, and the
peers who I supported on their journey. I have healed in many ways and continue
to heal each and every day with this love and connection. I am able to trust
life, trust others, and trust myself.
So the opposite of addiction is
not recovery, but connection.
Patricia V. Pavkovich has worked
as a MAP Program Coordinator for Origins Hanley/South Padre Island since
September, 2015. Patty has a B.S. in Secondary Health Education and a Doctor of
Chiropractic degree. She is a yoga instructor and enjoys riding her Harley in
her spare time.