Today is Valentine’s day. My friends keep telling me it’s Singles Awareness Day. I keep telling them, no it’s Liberation Day. The newly single have a bit of a different perspective even if we’ve been working on it a while.
Part of recovery is the acceptance of yourself. Being comfortable in your own skin. Being happy alone with a movie and an empty room. This is a slow road. It’s one of those roads that is different for everyone, in length and in topography.
Imagine you are on a road trip. You gas up, you load up, you’re ready to go and excited (or at least built up the edge to go.) Let’s say your setting out for the three thousand mile trek from Houston to Seattle. Every now and then you have to stop for gas. You have to stop for food. You have to stop for drinks and for breaks to stretch your legs. You leave the jungle of this massive city and hit a few bumps about four hours out. You hit the hill country, you survive and now you’re out in the plains. Smooth sailing for a long time. The road is pretty straight. you have a few bends, but on the whole you’re feeling good. You’re making great time. Then you have to stop for gas. Then you have to stop for the night. The next day you arrive in New Mexico, passing through the mountains which can sometimes be treacherous. Eventually you’re back in a plain, or at least a valley. You’re tired of sitting in the car but you know that it will be worth the pain. This pattern repeats for a few more days. You get excited, you get bored, you get disgruntled, but you power through and eventually you reach your destination. It’s there sparkling in the sun (you happen to arrive on a sunny, warm day.)
This is recovery.
Starting the journey (even if half forced) you get excited. You gather your resolve. You know what you are looking for and you go after it. Sometimes though you get lost or you reach a point that is bumpy. Sometimes you have giant mountains in your path, but you must conquer them. You must go forward. You must put this one choice in front of you. You have to make a conscious effort to reform your world. You must change your way of thinking, of coping, of loving, of living. You and no one else can take this road. It is a lonely road.
It’s the goal that you’re after though and you have to keep that in your mind. Somewhere in your subconscience you have to remember what you are seeking even if it would be easier to numb out or ignore the world. When you get that way you turn on some music. Begin to clean the house, because while you cleanse your home you cleanse your mind. Buddhist monks (I think) teach you that your surroundings are a reflection of what is going on internally.
If you are surrounded by disaster that is the reflection of self.
Even if you have to start small, you have to start somewhere.
Part of recovery is finding good support. Whether that support is from family, friends, a community group, church or Al-Anon, get support. If the people you turn to do not support you drop them like a hot plate.
They don’t deserve the best of you if they can’t accept the worst of you. (I believe Marilyn Monroe said something to this effect.)
I know some that may be reading this may believe recovery is only for addicts. But it is not. It is for anyone who is surviving something in their past. Anyone who has been to their own hell. Anyone who is the victim of abuse, violence, a crime. Anyone who is hurting from the choices they have made on their own. Labeling the process seems trivial and many times it is not given this name, but really that is what we are doing. We are recovering.
Below are some resources from the web for any number of possibilities you would need to be recovering from.
There are so many more. A base website for anything that you may have encountered is HelpGuide.org.
If you are simply at a point in your life where you need to change something reach out to friends. Call your EAP and set up to see a counselor. Work through it, life is so much better once you work through everything that is going on inside.
One of my favorite things to do is listen to music. Over the last year my favorites have been (and not in any particular order)
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Eminem – Recovery (He speaks to exactly what we are all going through…if bad words bother you don’t get the explicit version.)
Ray LaMontangne – Gossip in the Grain
The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Blue October, Christina Perri, Adele, Cee Lo Green (When I am in a mood I love F— You…it sets all right with the world), Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, Florence + The Machine (Bury that Horse), Kings of Leon, Journey, Chevelle…I could go on and on.
I simply find music that speaks to me. Find yours but make sure it sends you a positive message. Reinforce what you are trying to do, don’t hinder progress because you’re not really listening to it. The brain hears everything even if we are being passive.
Surround yourself with positive energy, positive people, try to be a light in the dark for others. It is a fact that if you help others in your darkest hour it will help light your own way out of the darkness.
Above all remember that we are all struggling with something. It may not be right there on the surface, but it is there. It is very real to them.
Live in peace, love, and kindness to all.