Facing the World as a Woman in Early Recovery

Facing the World as a Woman in Early Recovery

Yes. As the title suggests, this will be a blog post about facing the world as a woman in early recovery, however if you are male, you do not have to close the internet browser and stop reading here. Perhaps this can provide some insight toward your female friends, acquaintances or even a partner who is in recovery. And for you women who are reading, whether this is for insight towards yourself or someone you know, I hope I can provide you with some experience and hope from my own personal situation. Please read on!

My recovery date is 2/15/2018. This is the day my life began to change for the better. I showed up to the detox facility as a shell of a human being. My addiction really sucked the soul and the life right out of me and brought me to the doorstep as a broken and beat up person. I really had no sense of self left outside of my addiction as it was all encompassing. In my first 30 days in detox I was able to come out of the haze enough to try and puzzle piece some sort of idea of ‘womanness’ together. Maybe a little make up, maybe overcompensating with too much makeup, going through bags of donated clothing trying to see what I may or may not experiment with, and trying to clean up my outsides a bit.

Leaving treatment and transitioning into sober living, I was suddenly surrounded by many females as I was in an all female home. This was something I was wildly unfamiliar with and ended up being incredibly important to the continuity of my early recovery. Being in a house with other women who were also navigating the world in the same way as I was became considerably cathartic for me and I found solidarity in these bonds. Who were we? What did we like? What were we trying to accomplish? Who did we want to continue to be? These questions came up in late night talks over cigarettes or around the dinner table, night after night, month after month. The fact that I was trying to face the world as a woman in early recovery but so were they allowed me to not feel alone in this journey of self discovery.

woman on her journey of self discovery

Despite cleaning up my outsides a bit and finding other women to commiserate with, I was still searching for a deep sense of who I was and what it meant to be a woman. I know that I came into recovery as a legal adult, but I certainly did not feel like what I believed a woman should feel like. It took plenty of experience and growth in the first couple of years of my recovery before I truly believed I was a woman and no longer a little girl. Traits that I believed belonged to a woman were those of confidence, perseverance, maturity, responsibility, self-respect and consistency. None of these traits came to me immediately, they took time and effort and oftentimes blossomed in the aftermath of difficulty. By traversing through the trials of life instead of running from them as I had done for long, I was able to grow and develop the qualities that I believe make me a true woman today.

Early recovery allowed me many opportunities to try on different skins until I felt I found the one I was most comfortable in. Attempting to navigate relationships (both platonic and romantic), finding my dignity as a woman in the workforce and learning to heal from past traumas so as to not impose them onto my future have all been much trial and learning. As I continue to go forth, I hold my head high knowing that this woman in recovery has already accomplished so much and knows I am destined to accomplish so much more. If you are a female in early recovery, please don’t give up. The navigation may seem confusing or difficult in the day to day, but through perseverance I believe you too will one day see the woman you have grown into staring back at you in the mirror… and you will love what you see.

Stairway Recovery Homes has multiple sober living homes located in Los Angeles, CA. We provide community-based recovery homes for both men’s sober living and women’s sober living. Recovery IS possible!

About Heidi Marcz

Director of Alumni and Case Management Heidi has been working in the field of addiction for the past 4 years, has a RADT and moonlights as a blogger and Brainpaint Neurofeedback Technician. If asked, there is nothing in the recovery field that Heidi won’t do to learn more or to be of service to the newcomers. As alumni and outreach coordinator, Heidi feels she has the unique opportunity to keep continuity in the community- even after people have finished their initial SUD programming. Events range from seasonal activities, fundraisers, service events and special interest activities. Heidi is excited to perpetually generate more community cohesiveness, fun & gratitude for others and herself.