Over the years I heard, then said, three of the most powerful words anyone could offer to someone who struggles with overcoming some unhealthy behavior. The words are, keep coming back.
Woven together, those fifteen letters comforted—and continue to comfort—me, and many others, who walk away from a conversation that offers hope for change no matter how dire the situation.
When I first took in those words, I teetered between what made sense and what could be. I thought the invitation to another meeting of like-minded people was just a polite gesture. While I had my doubts about a return visit to a room filled with people I didn’t know who talked about things I didn’t understand, I went back anyway. I was desperate for a life other than the one I existed in. The lies, rationalizations, and manipulations were unbearable. I felt horrid from the inside out. The people in those rooms suggested I didn’t have to feel that way anymore as long as I keep coming back.
So, I did. I still do. However today, that powerful mantra means much more than the benefits of a return trip to a room of recovery wisdom.
When life tosses an emotional grenade my way, I’m thrown off-balance. Thoughts scatter. Next right steps aren’t clear. I doubt my options. Yet somehow, between the shrapnel, that mantra clicks in and I return to my proven recipe that shifts me from chaos to calm. Much like beloved, handed-down family recipes that many rely on for that perfect meal, this one, offered by the family that welcomed me when I felt lost and alone, is equally stained and torn, nurtured and shared and now, much-needed.
During the last several months I had striking examples of what can happen when friends lose sight of the recipe that once worked for them. An alert of another substance-related death, handcuffs then jail, excuses for unhealthy behavior use, and so on. The outcome is raw. The denial is unfathomable. The reality is startling and for some, beyond recognition.
Actually, I felt a bit tossed around too. I lost sight of what keeps me sorted in thought and focused in action. Yet, there, in the midst of all that, I kept hearing whispers from friends and interestingly, mere strangers who had no idea what they offered through their briefly shared words.
So, I’m dusting off that recipe card. I’m coming back and perhaps in time, others will find their way home too.
A Moment to Breathe
What happens when you start to cut corners, eliminate ingredients, or lessen the time you need to fully experience what you’d rather not? Take a slow deep breath. Now, consider what’s missing from that recipe that worked to make sense of things. What changes are you willing to incorporate into your day that will help you rise up and nourish hope for what’s possible. Use the space below to account for those plans and then, please share this post to your preferred social media sites so others might do the same.