What comes next might be word vomit, but at least it will be outside of my head. 🤣
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in recovery is how to navigate the ebbs and flows of life – how to remind myself in the bad times that life will not always be this bad, and that life will not always be this good during the good times. This is the natural progression of life.
There were a few events this past week that triggered something inside of me, and it’s helped me to release some pent up feelings of shame, guilt and anger that I didn’t even realize I was hanging onto. It was unexpected and I was completely caught off guard by my emotions.
Being an active person in recovery, I witness many relapses, as well as people who are still using with no intention or desire of ever stopping – a slave to their own disease.
It can be exhausting – the inability to fix another human being, yet wishing with all of my heart that I could at the same time. I sometimes feel like I am a terrible person, because I find myself wanting them to hit rock bottom just out of the pure hope that they will finally begin to feel the weight of their disease and seek recovery. I want them to WANT to get better, because sharing my journey with them doesn’t make them even the slightest bit interested in doing it for themselves.
I realize in these moments that I have completely forgotten about all of the people I have helped along the way. I momentarily allow myself to forget about the thousands of people I reach through my blog each week, the hundreds of private messages I receive from grieving friends and family who just want me to know that they still find hope through my words, and all of the messages and phone calls I receive from people I grew up with, as well as complete strangers, who have asked for my help or just wanted to talk things through with a person who understands what they are going through – a person who actually hears what they are saying.
I remember being a teenager, and wanting to be accepted so badly by the older kids – the cool kids – that I completely lost all sense of who I was along the way. I thought attention, whether it was good or bad, would help me to be noticed by these people. I acted out in unhealthy ways, I wasn’t always the most pleasant person to be around, I was entirely self-involved and there were times I made a complete fool of myself while I was trying so hard to be something I wasn’t.
It’s not their fault. It was mine, but today I can give myself a break – I was only doing the best I could at the time. I was still learning and growing.
There was a pattern to my relationships and it all comes back to two central themes – fear and insecurity.
I have always felt insecure. For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with self-acceptance. This pattern of running away from uncomfortable situations was never more evident than it was in my high school and college years. The moment I felt inferior, inadequate or unlovable- I cut the other person off before I could be rejected. At the time, I felt that rejection in any form would only provide evidence to back up my worst fears about myself – that I was a horrible person and an entirely unlovable human being.
I’m sorry to those people I hurt along the way. I am sorry I walked away instead of just apologizing. I was embarrassed and ashamed. It wasn’t right. I do my best to make amends as we cross paths, however, there are some I may never be able to apologize to and that makes my heart hurt.
I’ve realized that I will never be good enough for some people. Some people will find my story of recovery to be an embarrassment or just plain annoying. But more importantly, I’ve also realized that those people are NOT MY PEOPLE. There is a reason they are not in my life anymore.
I feel blessed to be in a place where I no longer walk away from and/or ignore my problems. I am so lucky to have women in my life today who let me talk through my fears, often times through tears and laughter. They’ve reminded me how important it is to show myself the same compassion that I so freely extend to others.
Sometimes, at 1,679 days in recovery, I still feel like I’m in my first 30 – and that is ok! It’s a good reminder that I must always remain vigilant and teachable.
I love my recovery family. They truly teach me how to live my life free from active addiction. It’s a gift to be alive today, I’ve seen enough tragedy lately to remind of this.
Thanks for letting me share a piece of my life with you all. Thank you for being my people! ♥️