Why They Call It Recovery

images The proper definition of recovery is…a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength which says it in a nutshell.

I often allude to 12 Step programs…borrowing slogans, chanting their rhetoric mainly because it’s helped me so.

I went into Al-Anon, the program for those affected by the aftermath of alcohol, in 2006. I was in a tempestuous relationship with an alcoholic I desperately needed to get away from. It gave me the strength to ultimately do so.

But what I had learned almost immediately, was he was merely a symptom of a disease I suffered from my whole life. My parents were alcoholics, one of the reasons I was always drawn to drunks since it felt so familiar. It’s what I knew. I should have walked through those doors 20 years earlier, but as they say…you get there when you get there.

They call it recovery because you need to recover what is yours…what was stolen…what you never thought you even deserved in the first place. You spent your life trying to just survive the chaos and panic you were forced into by the illness of alcoholism.

It’s the first thing you learn, it’s a sickness not any different from cancer or heart disease.

I never realized how unwell my dad was, inheriting his addiction from his father who got it from his. I was angry he died at 50, his liver giving out, never really knowing him as a steady presence in my life. 12 Step changed all that…pried my rusted heart wide open.

And my mother who, when she drank, beat me senseless the reason I truly believe I lost my hearing. Seven doctors had no explanation to why, out of nowhere, this should happen. Usually hearing loss is gradual…for me it was like a light going out. All those punches in the head against the black and white tiles of our bathroom floor where she’d knock me silly, only to wake up, as she beat me more.

Forgiving her is a horse of a different color, yet I have. She was a sick lady fully charged under the evil influence of alcohol.

But the good news is…we still recover if willing…it takes time and patience, but we do.

We lay down our arms replacing them with forgiveness for those who couldn’t help themselves.

It’s said, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I say, what doesn’t kill you opens your heart.

By living one day at a time, where my feet are, doing the next right thing…I’m able to enjoy life in a way I never knew was possible recovering, what was always truly mine.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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23 Responses to Why They Call It Recovery

  1. Bubbly Recovery says:

    Reblogged this on Bubbly Recovery and commented:
    a good read.


  2. micklively says:

    Well said! I think you’ve struggled to shed victim guilt. You need to congratulate yourself more for your strength in the face of adversity. Very few can summon your resolve.


  3. skinnyuz2b says:

    My two youngest children (biological siblings) were adopted at ages 6 and almost 9 years of age in 1996. They were taken from their alcoholic parents in Russia and placed in a children’s home. A couple of years before that, they had been left alone without food or money for several days, along with their younger toddler brother who had fetal alcohol syndrome. The stories my son, who is the older sibling tells would break your heart. Their younger brother was placed in a sanitarium when my children went to the orphanage. I’ve explained that their parent’s loved them, but had a sickness and did the best they could. I worry and watch for signs of alcoholism in them.


    • Oh my God Skinny, what a story, but not a unique one I’m afraid. I can only imagine your son’s sad tales when he was small. I hear them in the rooms of Ala-Non. Parents should have to pass a very strict test before possessing that holy title. Thanks for sharing that. Know it must be painful for you on their behalf.


  4. katecrimmins says:

    Beautifully written. So very sad. There was a lot of alcoholism in the town I grew up in. The men worked in a mill and had more than a few brew on their way home. I don’t remember beatings (although statistics say there had to be some) but I do remember kids getting screamed at and sloppy drunk men looking foolish. Fortunately we didn’t have that in my house. My Dad couldn’t drink much. Didn’t have the stomach for it.


  5. Lynn says:

    Susannah, this piece touched me so deeply. I can’t tell you the number of times I have sat at my computer, in an attempt to write about the various ways my life has been affected by alcoholism. I think I have 2 or 3 in draft mode, waiting to be finished some day.

    Like you & so many others, there are many alcoholics dangling off of various limbs of my family tree. My father died relatively young, in similar fashion to yours. He came from a long line of alcoholics, including his father.

    These days, I struggle with my Mom’s addiction. One that has consumed her golden years & thus robbed me of precious of time together. Unlike my Dad, who was never very present in my life, my Mom & I have shared a wonderful mother/daughter relationship. She has always been my rock, my stability & my best friend.

    Unfortunately, as my mom has aged, she too, has turned to alcohol to combat her depression, her anxiety & her loneliness. To say that I am stunned, is an understatement. My father’s alcoholism was the demise of my parents marriage, & yet here I am today, trying to navigate, yet again, the dasterdly path of this addiction.

    I have read so many books over the years, attended an Al-Anon meeting (yes, only 1, they weren’t my thing) & went for counselling when my father took sick years ago. I do believe. for the most part, I have a good understanding both of the disease & how it affects me. I have forgiven my father long ago, for not being the person I had longed for in Dad.

    But, like any child of an alcoholic, my journey continues. Thank you for sharing this today Susannah.


    • Oh Lynn, this just killed me. You too? I am so sorry, but grateful you shared all of this. You should write about it. One, you’re a wonderful writer expressing yourself openly and nobly, always. And this stigma, that regardless of what we’ve done to heal, comes with such scars.

      The upside is, we’re more sensitive to others…more wise.

      And I know this applies to you as well as me, and Skinny, and everyone who’s been affected by alcoholism.

      Thank you.


      • Lynn says:

        I absolutely will. They are those pieces you keep going back to in your draft file, feeling like you haven’t tackled them the way you want to, but knowing that they are an important piece to share.

        But as it is the holiday season, I am filled with joy, as our children will be home to celebrate Christmas with us, along with our beautiful granddogs. For now, I shall focus on all that is light & lovely. Okay, let’s be real, I will most likely throw in the odd of glass of wine here & there! But it shall be light & lovely!


      • That’s another thing it does…it increases your gratitude…always an upside Jill 🙂


  6. AF says:



  7. It runs wild in my husband’s family and he has already lost a sister to vodka a couple of years ago, which was beyond sad to me. This talented, creative, smart woman was found laying alone in the snow dead.
    I have this book called “Peace” that gives daily peaceful little tidbits and they are all based on the 12 step program, which I did not know at the time of purchase. It’s just wonderful!


    • How sad about your family member. Sorry Top.

      Every time I hear a new slogan I think…what…is there a little old lady someplace upstate cranking them out, and they never cease to be amazing…one of my faves…Only God sees around corners 🙂


  8. Elle Knowles says:

    This about hits home today…one of my daughter’s husband (hopefully soon to be ex)has a problem not with alcohol, but with drugs and she is so in denial about it…keeps making excuses for him. We are all really close as a family and know she doesn’t want our opinions. What she needs is a support group of others who have gone through the same thing. She has the opportunity but finds reasons not to join or even look into it. I know it will hit her one day and she will realize its not her fault. I’m just glad they are in two different states right now and he isn’t working and as long as he isn’t he won’t be back in her life. Is that so awful of me to wish for that?


    • Maybe you could write about this. It’s so hard being involved with an addict…a nightmare really, because your perceptions, in their midst, get so cloudy. Only when you move away from them does the air clear. It’s good they’re in different states, you’re right because that means they’re in different states mentally too, the best thing for her.

      I urge more from you on this.


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