I got the call I knew I would and hoped I wouldn’t.
Relapse has two outcomes; a return to a recovery community for recalibration or further destruction of a life that once made sense.
I cannot un-see the sadness in the eyes of children left behind. I cannot un-hear a long-awaited exhale from a husband who left no stone unturned in an effort to support a wife after multiple tumbles down the staircase of alcoholic destruction. I cannot un-feel the mixture of emotion that exploded by the words, “she was found dead last night.”
On bended knee, my tears fell onto hands clasped in prayer. That could have been me.
That could have been me if I hadn’t paid attention to suggestions offered by people whose footsteps I follow on the path of recovery. That could have been me if I hadn’t put everything else second to the priority of recovery. That could have been me if I hadn’t taken the action necessary to rip that mask of deception off and reveal my authentic self.
I’m smart enough to know that still could be me if I try convincing myself that I don’t need to keep doing what I’ve done to get where I am.
The consequences of addiction are shocking only for those who don’t bear witness to what happens when someone offers a testament to what happened when that “one time” turned into many more.
This life is not a dress rehearsal. We don’t get a do-over once the body shuts down and the funeral ceremony begins.
Phone calls matter. Quiet time is crucial. Being of service to others is a must.
I cannot do any of this alone. I cannot rely on silent conversations with myself for answers to problems that keep me stuck. If I do, there’s a strong possibility that one drink or lack of proper nutrition becomes my solution. From there, I dare not consider what could happen. I’m not willing to take that chance.
Today I step forward as if this is opening night. I’ll suit up and show up for what keeps me on the path of healthy recovery. My hand extends to others who extend theirs to me. Together we can take a bow in gratitude for another day well lived.
Tomorrow, I hope to experience opening night all over again.
A Moment to Breathe
What are you afraid to say out loud? What stories are you telling yourself that keeps you from an honest connection with others? Take a moment and consider what might happen if you heard someone say, “I feel and think that way too.” Remember, as much as you may think you are, you aren’t alone. Want proof? Take a deep breath, gather that courage you’ve long doubted, and ask someone for a few minutes. That’s when you’ll experience the opening night of the rest of your life.
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