Thoughts About Recovery


I never really thought about how my life had been impacted by addiction until I strangely found myself on a career path in the substance abuse prevention and treatment field. I learned that addiction is a disease that affects the family, and that I could be as sick or sicker than a family member struggling with his or her own addiction. Later, I began my own recovery as a family member impacted by the addiction of a loved one.  I am so grateful for this journey and have experienced miracles in my life. Here are 4 things I learned through my own recovery:

1.     I didn’t cause the addiction. My actions did not cause another human being to have the disease of addiction. It is a brain disease, and it’s more helpful for all involved if I accept that fact.

2.     I can’t cure it.  Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that can be fatal if not treated.  I can’t make someone get better, I am not that powerful. I can be supportive, but ultimately the journey is their own.

3.     I can’t control it.  Addiction is more powerful than me, and nothing I can say or do to try to control someone else’s disease will work.  I need to focus on my own actions and my own boundaries. Taking on the responsibilities that belong to my loved one doesn’t change anything and hurts the chances of recovery for my loved one. 

4.     I can cope. I have learned ways to deal with the devastating effects of addiction.  I have learned to make sure that I am taking care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  My own well-being is a priority. 

I do have control over something – my own choices, actions, behaviors and happiness.  Life is good in recovery and for that, I am forever grateful.

Love and Light,

Teresa Collado
Executive Director, The Virtue Center

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