Self Discovery

Jillian Spano
Tell us about your (or your loved one's) recovery journey. What has been the most rewarding part?

My sister has battled a substance use disorder since she was a teenager. One thing I have learned is that recovery is not only about the person with the substance use disorder, but also, the entire family unit must go through recovery as well. As a sister, my road in recovery has been one of trials and tribulations. There were more times than not that I felt like I grew up without a sister. I no longer knew who she was nor do I believe that she knew who she was. It completely changed the relationship we had as young girls, who loved to play Barbies together. There were many years we hardly even spoke. I held such resentment, confusion, fear, and other feelings I couldn’t put into words. It caused me to question every sense of my being and everything I thought I knew. Through the recovery process, I looked inward at myself at who I am as a person, a sister, a daughter, and as a mother. As a result, recovery has brought me to what I believe to be the greatest reward, self discovery. Discovery of who I am inside as well as who I am in each of those relational roles. It has allowed me to become more aligned with my true self. Discovery of your truth is probably one of the most powerful tools that exists. It enables you to no longer live behind a façade of roles, fears, anger, and resentment but commits you to freedom to be true to you. Once I found I was able to reach this point, I became a better self, sister, daughter, and mother and was in a much stronger position to aide my family in their recovery without losing myself.

Do you have a message for the Shatterproof community?

Perseverance and hope! Two words ever so powerful on the road to recovery. Recovery is a process and never ending in many ways but it is through perseverance that you will continue forward. It is with hope that you will continue to persevere.