“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi.
Addiction, grief, loss, rejection, abuse, neglect, depression, divorce, illness – we are all recovering from something. As you know, I am recovering from alcoholism, one word which sums up a lot of things. I no longer drink, but the emotional hangover from years of hiding and repressing myself under a wide range of behaviours will take a lifetime to shed.
The funny thing is, just for today, I don’t mind.
I love my messy, painful journey of transformation for all the gifts its given me – real connection, hope, the ability to love more than I ever thought I could. I’m grateful I have found a solution which works for me.
I’m not cured; I still flounder and I know I probably always will, but I’m beginning to see how my struggles connect me to other people on a deeper level than would have been possible without my specific challenges.
So I’m grateful for them.
When I look at my life today and the wonderful people in it, I just know it wouldn’t be happening if I hadn’t rode that elevator to the lowest level of my life. If I hadn’t hurt and been hurt so deeply, I would never have been desperate enough to leave my ego at the door and sit in a room with a bunch of recovering drunks and listen to how they did it.
I thought that admitting defeat and seeking help to stop drinking was the most humiliating moment of my life (crazy, yes), but it actually proved to be the most liberating.
It amazes me how little I knew, which means I probably still don’t know all that much. Knowing this, however, leaves me open to learning new things and it’s been the greatest (ongoing) journey of my life to attempt to accept myself at every stage of the process and trust I am exactly where I need to be.
The beauty of recovery is that we are given a fresh perspective.
It’s like being sick, then feeling a little better and being able to appreciate simple things like eating food and taking a stroll outside.
It gives us a renewed appreciation of life and in turn the struggles of our fellow humans.
Recovery gives us the gift of compassion for those in the grip of hopelessness and despair, as well as the hope that they too will make it out, changed but alive.
Everyone has been hurt, suffered loss, felt confused and alone.
But we are not alone and there are others who understand, somewhere.
There are people who have been through what you are going through, and I urge you to seek them out, online and in person. They won’t fix you, but they will hold your hand as you negotiate your way through it and they will utter the greatest words I have ever had the pleasure of hearing, “Me too.”
We think no-one understands until we find the very people who do, and when we find them it’s like breathing air for the first time.
The people we meet along the path of recovery help us transform our pain into a love which will help someone else. Then we see that our journey is the vessel through we which we experience true Love, the love which cannot be grasped or explained or quantified because eludes us every time we try.
The beauty of recovery, is that we do it together.
“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell, and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece of it, and they looked at it and thought they had the truth.” -Rumi