August 16

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 16: “To gain that which is worth having it may be necessary to lose everything else.”― Bernadette Devlin

When we come into this recovery thing, it is with the idea that we are going to “try it out” often. Not to make any kind of committed effort to change anything other than to stop drinking/drugging. Some people never go beyond that. We see them…know them…they are miserable all the time. I don’t know how they hang on like they do, but many of them hang on for long periods of time without a drug or drink, many years, but do not have anything I am looking for. Perpetual hangover is what I feel coming from them.

I have had to walk away from everything that was true for me on the day I got here. Everything. It all got removed or I let it go. Everything. Not all at once, but pretty close to it. I had to make that commitment to myself and my recovery. I did not know how that was going to play out.

I held on to a few of my old ideas for those first couple of years, don’t we all? We hang onto anything that we think we can still pull off until it is wrenched from us…at least that is my story. I love the posters and t-shirts that came out in the 1990s that showed a cat hanging by its claws and sliding down the front of the picture and said, “Everything I ever let go of was covered in claw marks.” Too true.

But today there is nothing I will not readily walk away from if it takes one moment of my peace. In fact, this is all a part of my daily 10th Step since I know now RIGHT AWAY when something is bugging me and I feel it.

I no longer get the luxury of blaming others, that is not the way this works. I have to look at what I am doing to make myself uncomfortable in my own skin. It is me. And THAT is what courage is all about for me. Owning my own shit. Every time. Forever. If you or you or you piss me off or irritate my baby feelings, it is on me. Every time! And I have to let go of it, over and over again. And shift my old ways of thinking and being. Courage…takes a lot of work to keep that muscle strong.

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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