Sometimes when I cannot sleep at night, I imagine going back to talk to myself at different moments of my life. Going back to the teenage me, taking that first drink out of her hands before it touches her lips, telling her she must never touch that stuff, no matter what. Picturing what life would have been like if I'd listened.
Or the me that lay dying on my bathroom floor, terrified, alone, utterly confused by how life can change so quickly. Telling her it will be fine, not yet, but soon. Just to hang on.
Skipping past the bed bound me, the wheelchair me even, Going straight to the shell of a person that was trying so desperately to navigate a world she had been isolated from for so many years. Telling her one day she would be able to walk without concentrating on every step, That she would be able to stand tall, look someone in the eye, laugh even, hold a conversation again. Make friends, love, and be loved. That it was all on its way.
I've had so many recoveries. It's been my life so it always felt normal to me, but I know it's not. I'm 32. I've started over and over and over again. Every time from nothing. Scratch. Square one.
I recovered from alcoholism when I was able to stop drinking. Finally. I recovered from being disabled when I was able to maintain walking again. Consistently. I recovered from the years of isolation when I was able to live back in the world again. Joyfully.
So many recoveries. All totally different. Addiction is nothing like being disabled. Truly, it's not. I only know that because I've done both. Physical bodily recovery is nothing like putting together the shattered remnants of your confidence, in yourself and those around you mentally. Not even a bit similar. Yet all three felt the same in their conclusion. Finished, Done. Over. Leaving nothing behind but total elation as a reminder they had ever happened at all.
My life could never have been the satisfying, exciting, ecstatic experience it is for me now everyday, had I not experienced recovery-full, lasting, permanent recovery from all three. Three totally different scenarios. None of which there is ever supposed to be lasting recovery from. Not one.
Daily I am told to expect relapse from any and all of the above. Daily there is someone who informs me that it cannot last forever. Daily I know the truth of it.
That I'll always be fine.
Recovery is Recovery, is Recovery.
It is all the same, maintaining sobriety, staying physically recovered. Feeling emotionally invulnerable to relapse in any form. And when its achieved, suddenly the past just becomes a massive springboard to catapult us from a life we were existing through, to a life that defies description in it's wonder and beauty.
Sometimes when I cannot sleep at night, I imagine going back to talk to myself at different moments of my life. But I can't. So instead I tell myself my truth, Even when it's hard to speak my heart and do justice to the blessings I feel every single moment of every day. I feel my truth.
Recovery is Recovery, is Recovery.
It is all the same at the end.
It is all achievable. So really the sooner we take the labels off what it is we are recovering from. the faster we all come together and just Be The Recovery as a unit. The quicker we will all get sober. Get happier. Get stronger. Get our lives back. Stop trying to achieve in splinter groups or in isolation what we could all be doing in public, together. Because all recovery is the same. Maintaining recovery is identical. And there's no way I would ever have figured that out, had I not spent so much of my life doing it. Over and over and over again.
I tell myself this. Then I wait for the sun to come up and show me the miracles the next day will bring...