As human beings, we have a fundamental need to be seen, acknowledged, and understood. It is part of our survivalist nature. Being understood and being regarded as “a part of” is survival. We often hear the terminology to “get in the middle of the herd” in recovery, which means we are supposed to entrench ourselves in a solid support and social system. If we are in the middle of a group of women, we are less likely to drift to the outer bounds of existence where we’re at risk of getting “picked off”, or in the case of addiction, relapse seemingly without notice.
Women can, most unfortunately, dive into only one aspect of their survival instincts and act in painfully competitive ways which lead to exclusion. However, women who have the solidarity of recovery and come together to grow through a treatment setting dive into a different aspect of their anthropology. For centuries, women have come together in sisterhood and tribal mentality to look out for a take care of their own. Women can be fiercely loving, protective, and supportive when they are brought together in a like-mindset of growth and development. When women are joined in the treatment setting, particularly in the wilderness therapy setting, there is an immediate recognition of “We need each other and nobody will understand that the way we will”.
The understanding of the female experience simply cannot be upheld by anyone other than other women. Only women can truly understand what it is like to live as a woman- to bear the societal pressures of being a woman, and to bear the societal shame, as well as stigma, of being a woman who lives with a mental or behavioral disorder of some kind. Surely, anyone who has struggled with depression as a result of trauma can in some way relate to one another. Women’s traumas are specific. Women’s experiences of depression are specific. Women’s recovery is incredibly specific and women need other women to act as both mirrors and guides to get them through the challenges of the treatment and early recovery process.
Our stories of hardship, struggle, trauma, strength, experience, and hope, are priceless in recovery, particularly as women. We need, more than anything in a largely male-driven world, to be inspired by other women’s stories- their hardship, their struggles, their trauma, and more importantly, their innate ability to overcome.
You can overcome whatever this struggle is at this time in your life. At RedCliff Recovery, the only women’s wilderness therapy program built by women for women, we live in joy. We’ve found the freedom we need to have the hope necessary to be fully empowered in our ability to recover. Your adventure is waiting for you. Call us today for information: 801.370.2274.