Leading by Example In Recovery: Teachable Moments for Our Kids

Embarking on the journey of sobriety and stroke recovery is like condensing a lifetime of learning into an intensified crash course for our children, imparting lessons of resilience, tenacity, bravery, and small victories. In my recent podcast episode, I talked about how these deep personal battles with adversity are not just ours alone—they’re powerful lessons for our children, demonstrating the unbreakable human spirit. This blog expands on that narrative and explores the act of leading by example.

Share Your Journey Openly

Transparency is Courage

I had apprehension about discussing my physical, mental, and emotional struggles with my children. I feared I was burdening them. But being transparent in these dark times showcase our true strength when we emerge on the other side. Voicing the struggles makes our small victories more triumphant—those incremental wins that punctuate our path to recovery are only teachable if our kids get to see the struggle. It’s like how I chose not to edit out my tears from a podcast episode, making my journey a tangible, raw experience for listeners.

Educational Dialogue

We can use our stories to educate, rather than lecturing without real-life examples. When I talk with my kids about my experiences with alcohol and stroke, I try to do it in an informative way rather than a cautionary tale. I hope to equip them with knowledge and understanding so they can recognize the signs of addiction or a stroke in others and themselves. I aim to discuss the emotional aspect of recovery, like how I have grieved the idea that I may never drive again.

Model Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Self-Care as a Priority

Self-care is not selfish; it’s essential. By engaging in activities that nourish my mental and physical health, I’m showing my children the value and importance of putting ourselves first sometimes. Whether it’s my venture into bible study courses or psychiatric sessions, I’m illustrating the significance of reaching out and the power of community support.

Emotional Intelligence

Healthy emotional expression is a priority in my recovery. By sharing my fears and vulnerabilities, I’m teaching my children that it’s okay to have fears and to seek solutions. Emotions are not to be feared but understood and managed.

Living With Purpose and Engagement

Passion Fuels Purpose

Life doesn’t end when recovery starts—it is a time for major self-discovery. By pursuing my interests, like cooking and writing, I’m reconnecting with past passions that I lost time for when life happened and demonstrating that there is joy and fulfillment in recovery. Our passions may get momentarily misplaced throughout or lives, but we can reignite them at any time.

Community Connection

By integrating myself into a community, like inviting sober women to my home for a Big Book step study, I’m showcasing the importance of doing the work and connecting with others. Community helps me and allows me to give back, share experiences, and fostering relationships.

Through these practices and leading by example, I’m sculpting adversity into life lessons for my kids. I’m a survivor and a trailblazer showing my children that courage can be cultivated even when we are in pain. I’m exemplifying that grief has no timeline, solace can be found in unexpected places, and despite life’s unpredictability, joy is still there—we just have to make room for it.