I am never without problems, of one sort or another. What I have learned in recovery is that there are lessons to be learned from problems – and their solutions. There is no shame in having problems – everybody has them. Trying to deny my issues can cause me to develop more problems, as most of the time it means that feelings of guilt and shame have surfaced.

I do not have to feel shame about my problems – I mean, we all have them. Things break down, people disagree, my mouth says stupid stuff, money runs short, I forget something important… as the bumper sticker says “_ _ it happens!” Problems happen in recovery, all the time. Just because I got sober does not mean that all my problems will go away – that just doesn’t happen. But through the process of recovery I learn new ways of solving problems and resolving issues that can arise. I believe that I learn more from problems than I do from not having problems. They teach me what to do, how to do it, and just as important – when to do it – whatever “it” is. Solving problems without feeling shame is something learned, a day at a time. I am better at solving problems today than I was before recovery. I am better at accepting the gift of problems, as a source for learning new behaviors and new ways of “dealing” with life. There is no shame in having problems, the real shame might be not being willing to learn the lessons within the problem. I continue to live and hopefully, to learn.