I've been thinking the last couple of days about being sober.
I'm in a place right now that's pretty alright. And by that I mean I'm not constantly being tempted to fall back into my addictions.
It's like after a storm, when the rain begins to let up a little bit. And you look to the sky and the clouds are beginning to part and the rain is still falling but not nearly as heavily and you turn to the person next to you and you say "I think the worst of it is over."
I don't want to say the worst of it is over, because it feels like knocking on wood or something. I still have struggles in my life but they feel minor compared to the hell I walked through a few years ago, even a few months ago. It's this moment when the rain is letting up and I'm looking to the sky and thinking maybe the worst of it is over. Maybe I get to be happy now, for good.
To be honest, that phrase both completely thrills me and completely terrifies me. Because I don't know how to be happy. Because there is this lull, the break in the clouds, and things get scratchy underneath my skin and I look to the sky, almost begging for there to be another hint of a storm cloud. Because I don't know how to handle being happy. All of my life, I was trained for chaos. One crisis followed another, head over heels, and I got good at dealing with it. And the stillness, the silence, the lull, scares me to death.
I look at my life now, and I feel the squeeze of normalcy tightening around my chest and I want to run from it. I don't ever want to forget where I came from. I don't, for a second, want to forget the hell I fought through to get to this point. The label of being in recovery is one of the ones I am the most proud of, and I never want to forget what I went through to earn it. I want every word I speak, every move I make to be a living memorial to the hell I went through and survived. I don't want to be detached from the pain that made me who I am. I guess in essence what I am saying is that I never want to forget where I came from.
Where I am now, the pain is mostly fallout pain. It's the aftermath of death, the aftermath of my body fighting against me, the aftermath of the addictions. The fog has cleared just enough that I can see where I am going and live my life without being acutely aware of all these things that happened to me. I'm working out and I'm not constantly being sucked into the hatred I had for my body. I'm in my relationship, happy and loved, and not constantly thinking about all the times when I wasn't. I'm sifting through the aftermath and finding out what I believe and seeing the truth about things and it is good and hard and it is all part of recovery. But sometimes it seems the farther down the road of recovery I get, the more I want to turn and run the other way. Back to my addictions, to my self hatred, to the deep dark depression that clouded my days. Because it was comfortable. because in the thick of it all there seems to be an air of worthiness.
I heard a comment by Russell Brand in an interview he did once where he was talking about addiction, and how no matter how far you went there's always the one thing you wish you'd done, the one drug you wished you'd taken. Because then it might make recovery feel a little more earned.
I'm in a place now where I'm finally reclaiming my voice. I'm telling the truth about my story, even if my voice shakes. Even if finding out the truth sometimes reveals cracks in the solid foundation I thought I had. Even if it makes me uncomfortable and I have to draw boundaries where there wasn't any before because I am finally learning that what I want matters.
I guess what I'm saying is that this is recovery too. And I never want to forget the hell I fought through to get here. I always want in recovery to be one of the labels I am most proud of wearing. I also want to learn how to be grateful for the good moments, to enjoy the beauty that I have. And I never want to take for granted what I have, to think that I have reached a spot where I can stop being insistent upon my recovery and being brutally honest about what I feel, think, experience and need. There's no recovered for me, always in recovery. There are ups and downs because that is life, and its a journey. A journey that matters more than the destination. There's always more stories to be told, more layers to be shed. And I never want to stop being in recovery.