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When I Grow UP...

“When I grow up I want to be a little boy.”

Joseph Heller in “Answers From the Heart”

During the initial growth from adolescence into adulthood, I believed that I was supposed to leave my childhood behind. I thought that I had to become a man: act like a man, talk like a man and leave my child behind. I seemed to do a pretty good job of that. However, I frequently heard people say that I often acted like a big kid. This usually had a complimentary tone to it so I was confused. How can I be responsible for family and work while acting like a child?

The formal, therapeutic part of my recovery helped me to realize that my child is always part of me. We frequently hear of the need for a healthy childhood (whatever healthy means!). So my therapist helped me re-examine my childhood. I learned that I was very creative during these early years. I had a very active fantasy world which took me to some great places. It also saved me from a lot of pain and loneliness. Unfortunately, this also fueled a dishonesty which contributed to my growing addictive lifestyle. In my addiction, I lived a lie, a fantasy which convinced me of the need for my false reality.

Recovery offered truth. This created a struggle between my healthy and unhealth