February 18

HOPE MONTH: DAY 18: “Since I was young, I have always known this: Life damages us, everyone. We can’t escape that damage. But now, I am also learning this: We can be mended. We mend each other.” ― Veronica Roth

Recovering addicts are put into each other’s lives to mirror our broken-ness. I see it in others and then recognize it for myself. When I get that reflection, it allows me to heal.

And the work begins. I have only met one or two other addicts who have done the kinds of work I have done to recover. Deep work in the steps and therapy to get to the bottom of the old ideas and the damage I created in my life because of what I believed for so many years.

This is a deep process. It was never about what I did with drugs and alcohol. It is really all about them keeping me from doing any further psychic damage until I could get the kind of help I needed. My first sponsors were all about the steps and seeing MY part in the pain I felt.

While there were some stories I held onto about what others had done, I always knew it was about ME. I was the one who did life in retaliation for that. And I was the one who was dying from it. Not them. They were impervious to that

And I got to walk others through those healings. Only a couple have done the work I did, at any point in time. None consistently. They stop  when they are where they think they are supposed to go. I have never stopped.

The deepest work of my life has been done after 30 years of recovery. I did a LOT in the first 30 years, but the really deep stuff came at this time. It built on what I had already done. And continues to build and grow. 

I am not damaged by life. I am damaged because I had BIG expectations and beliefs about my entitlement to life that were unreasonable and downright ridiculous. I truly thought it was supposed to be the way I had decided life was “supposed” to be. It ain’t about that. It is about seeing that everything is perfect. All of it. Every person, every moment, every situation.

When I let go of what I believe, I have hope that I can quit swimming upstream and find the joy and love and laughter and hope and beauty of life AS IT REALLY IS. Acceptance is truly and always the key. And I get to mend when I see and relate to your broken ways of seeing it.

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Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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