Much of my recovery path has been behind a keyboard.
Clear minded for the first time in longer than I wish to remember, my brain became a sponge yearning to soak up everything there is to know about addiction and recovery. Countless hours spent researching the latest trends, epidemics and tragedies of the thousands of lives lost from this forbidden curse I call addiction. And just as much time was spent wandering through all the different pathways to recovery that I never even realized existed.
But in no way would I recommend doing recovery alone. Isolation leads to what they call in treatment, stinkin’ thinkin. That deceitful little voice in your head that tells you everything will be alright so long as you just have one. I listened once, and that was reminder enough that my brain no longer understands moderation.
It’s been my experience that recovery thrives in community. And perhaps because with a sober mind, we actually enjoy creating meaningful relationships with others. Especially with people whose story looks like ours. To know someone with the same sorrow and heartbreak. To cheer them on with every milestone and pick them up when they fall down. It’s nothing short of empowering. Especially when you watch them start to like themselves again. And the same thing starts happening to you.
Friendship as I understand it today is so much more than having someone to sit next to while getting drunk in a bar. Meaningless conversation that brings nothing but the passing of time while the poison erases that which we drink to forget. I never really believed “community” would be much of a benefit until I found an online recovery group where I discovered people who really were just like me. With similar stories, but very different paths in how they got there.
And it was an enlightening realization that there’s a familiar thread in everyone’s story that I think only people in recovery comprehend. A profound reconnection with a passion that was buried deep beneath the pain of our affliction. A discovery of the inner child, I have heard it explained, the one who loved to dance in the rain and found joy in discovery of anything new. I now find solace in the connection to my younger self who found immense joy in writing about the adventures of life instead of drowning my sorrow with a swig from a bottle.
I spend my days focused on being present in the moment, enjoying all that I love in my new life through clear eyes. And I find myself yearning for the time in which I can write even more. Continuously writing away the troubles of my past and building dreams of the future, which brings so much hope and healing to my ever wounded spirit. It helps me remember how far I have come and keeps me hopeful for all that tomorrow may bring.
My recovery journey is ever changing. What worked for me a year ago is far different than what I strive for today. But what I gained from the past year was just what I needed at the time. I took what I needed from it, left what I didn’t behind and moved on.
And I have a feeling that is the part of recovery that stays constant regardless of your specific path. It’s a life long journey that continues to grow. And it must be continuously nurtured in order to thrive.
Find your passion. Connect with like minded people to build them up. Become stronger for it. And keep moving toward that childlike freedom that brings an enlightenment only someone in recovery truly understands.
A freedom I now long for that would have never been found in a bottle.