Recovery and How to Get Out of Your Valley

6 Ways that your valley experiences will change you, if you are ready

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“When my husband left, my world had become incredibly narrow and small. Him leaving saved me. At the beginning I didn’t see it this way, but it freed me. Because of my journey over the last ten years, my world has become so big.” Stephanie Mitchell Hughes

Addiction means that you have lost yourself.

It could be losing yourself to the power of drugs, alcohol, gambling or a host of other behaviors that may include work, sex, shopping and food. Or you lose yourself under the throes of a mental illness that takes over your mind and emotions. Darkening, fraying the edges of what feels real to you.

If you have lost yourself, where do you find yourself again?

One of the most powerful moments of self-discovery is at the moment that you are most powerless.

Sometimes we assume that we find ourselves when we are in recovery. But that is only part of the story.

One of the most powerful moments of self-discovery is at the moment that you are most powerless. Grief, depression, divorce, hitting ‘rock bottom,’ losing a job are powerful moments. Moments like these are when we wake up to who we are, who we have become.

You may not know her, but you should. She has delivered a Tedx Talk. She is a lawyer, a speaker and describes herself as a disrupter. She is a published author, but most of all she is a mother who has been to hell and back. Her name? Stephanie Mitchell Hughes.

For Stephanie, recovery began when she found her self divorced, with two children and $120 in her bank account. Her fridge was empty and she was facing two months worth of unpaid mortgage payments.

Hopeless.

She felt lost. Even, suicidal.

But that was not the end of her journey. Ten years later, she is sharing what she has learned because her life has expanded.

Stephanie’s story is a story of recovery and resilience.

6 Ways that your valley experiences will change you, if you are ready

1.Embrace your valley. She describes her valley as deep and wide, littered with broken, winding paths. You may be desperate and want to escape your valley, but by escaping will only shortchange yourself.

2.Humble yourself and accept help. Ask and don’t stop asking. Accept the friendship of strangers and don’t be strange about your need for friendship.

Your valley can be healing when you let go of your anger, your bitterness and whatever else you are holding onto.

3.Feel your worst, but keep going. Be willing to face your worst feelings, but keep going. Remember who you have in your life that depend on you.

4.Be willing to let go. Your valley can be healing when you let go of your anger, your bitterness and whatever else you are holding onto. Holding onto baggage will keep you in your valley longer, and you will end up revisiting it more often than you need to.

5.Do the work. “In life, no one gets a free pass. If there’s work to be done… If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s only going to keep boomeranging back until you do the work. The sooner you do it, the less baggage you have to carry and the sooner you can walk into whatever is your destiny.”

6.Share what you learn. “I believe that we never learn lessons just for ourselves and for our own benefit. I learned them because I have a responsibity to pass them on to someone else.”

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About Stephanie: Stephanie Mitchell Hughes is an attorney, writer, speaker, and respectful disrupter. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Thrive on Medium, and mariashriver.com. Watch Stephanie’s Tedx talk and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

If you enjoyed this article, you may want to see some of my other writing on the topic of resilience and recovery:

In Recovery, Your Destination is Not Your Destiny

Recovery and How to Approach Your Problems in a Whole New Way

Making Today Your Next Second Chance

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing. If you like what I have to say, please share my work with your friends.

Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real

Photo by OptionB

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