Pathways to Recovery: A Success Story

SMART Recovery held its first annual Pathways to Recovery Virtual Walk in September. The event was enjoyed by many throughout the country. One of the participants, ChrisTLynne, shared her story on the pathway she took to walk for Life Beyond Addiction.

September 23, 2021 – Registration Closes

I logged into SMART Recovery today to pull up a tool before a meeting. This box popped up for the umpteenth time, but today, I chose to click on it. I thought, I’ve really enjoyed walking in or volunteering at 5Ks for causes I am passionate about (breast cancer walks, relay for life), and I missed it. What a great way to get some much-needed self-care in this weekend?!? So, I decided to register. It felt really good. Success of the day accomplished! Or as one of my favorite SMART volunteers would say, something to add to my Ta-Da list!

decided to share this with a handful of people I love the most – my family and friends who are one in the same. I wasn’t looking for anything but emotional support on my recovery journey (just over 8 months free of my DOC). What I received was so much more! Their responses were very encouraging, motivating, and touching.

A few of them were supportive virtually, cheering me on from a distance across the country. And some of them wanted to walk beside me in support of my recovery journey. They know how important my recovery is (at this point acronyms like Hierarchy of Values (HOV) and Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) are dropped on the daily in my house) and they wanted to walk next to me on my Pathway(s) to Recovery Walk, pun intended. And to top it off, by the end of the day I was up to $75 in donations (an unexpected bonus!)

The very best part for me is that most of those who responded were what I call my Loved Ones (LOs), who have their own struggles with substance use disorders (SUDs). Without intending for it to, my self-care activity for the weekend turned into a sober-social event with my LOs (social distancing outside due to COVID of course). Something I have been looking for and craving for eight long months. The excitement of the day and anticipation of a great weekend ahead kept me up late that night… or maybe it was the coffee.

September 26, 2021 – Day of Event

Day of the walk. Alarm set, snoozed, dismissed… and I overslept. But I didn’t let that stop me. I was ready and in the car in less than 30 minutes and on the way to meet one of my favorite cousins at the park. The walk was amazing – just the right amount of exercise to be sore the next day, just the right amount of fresh air before my allergies acted up, and just the right amount of support and love to fill my heart.

After a nice, long shower I felt empowered and motivated to keep going the rest of the day – action really does precede motivation. I baked pumpkin bread before dinner (baking is one of my favorite Vital Absorbing Creative Interest (VACIs)), did a couple loads of laundry, and cleaned the house.

So that’s my story. I love that I chose the path we walked at the park today, just as much as the path I’ve chosen to recovery.

Take care of your self-care, y’all!


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