Step Zero

“Out of the Darkness, There is Light.”

What is Step Zero?  Step Zero is the realization and insight obtained through the painful process of addiction that the substance of use is causing interference and destruction in someone’s life.  This realization comes with the clarity that another way of life exists.  The unfortunate truth about addiction is that it takes a certain amount of pain for each individual to break through the ropes of isolation and denial in order to ignite the spiritual awakening necessary to embark on the journey of recovery.

As a psychotherapist in private practice for over 10 years, I often ask myself, what it is that fuels someone into the development of addiction?  What I have come to believe is that for some, loss, longing, nostalgia and the yearning for things that never existed are great motivators to seek out numbing agents as a result of pain and suffering from these emotional experiences.  



When we numb out hurt and grief we also numb out the ability to experience love, joy, peace and light.  We are not designed as human beings to be in a perpetual state of numbness and detachment.  These states of mind are akin to being walking, living dead.  The risk to be courageous, feel love and grief is how we know we are truly alive.  Brene Brown refers to this as “whole hearted living.”  To embark on the journey of recovery is living courageously, risking to love and experiencing grief for the sake of healing and evolving.  One of the gifts of recovery is the ability to develop compassion for oneself and others.  How do we develop compassion?  By knowing our own darkness well enough that we can sit with others in their darkness.

Sarasota Addiction Specialists appreciate your continued support in our efforts to treat and provide a pathway to the journey of recovery!


Dr. Kimberly Benson LMHC